7 trail running benefits that have nothing to do with fitness

Trail running is an amazing way to seriously improve your cardio and endurance, whilst enjoying the great outdoors. But trail running isn’t all about physical fitness. There are so many other reasons to lace up your trail shoes and get outside. Here are 7 reasons we love trail running - and none of them are to do with physical fitness.

 

Trail running is great for your mental wellbeing

Running on the trails somehow feels very different to running on pavements or om a treadmill. The fresh air and freedom are a real mental escape from whatever else is going on in your week. Trail running is so good for your mental health, giving you time and space to clear your head and get things in perspective.

 

Trail running helps reduce stress

If you’re feeling stressed about work, relationships, or any other life pressures, you’ll feel better after a trail run. Of course trail running can’t literally solve your problems, but it gives you a brief window of time away from everything (including social media and phone notifications). It’s a great way to unwind in nature.

 

Trail running gets you out in nature

Loads of studies show that spending time in nature has a measurable impact on mental wellbeing. It can be gardening, sitting on the beach… or trail running. Trail running connects you with your natural surroundings in a way that forces you to see and hear the little details – the mud in front of you, birds overhead, foliage changing with the seasons. It’s a great way to balance out time spent inside and on screens.

 

Trail running boosts problem solving and creativity

If you’re stuck in a creative rut or can’t seem to find the answer to a challenging work issue, go for a trail run. The fresh air, wide open spaces, and rhythmic running action helps your brain shift into problem solving mode. You’ll find it easier to look at the problem from new angles and will return to work with fresh ideas.

 

Trail running is whatever you want it to be

There are no rules in trail running. You don’t have to run a certain distance, hit a certain pace, or ever enter a race if you don’t want to. It’s just about you and the trails. You can jog, take walk breaks, or really push the pace. Get as muddy as you want or seek out hilly routes. And it’s adaptable – you can go trail running pretty much anywhere.

 

Trail running can support personal growth 

Trail running isn’t just about pace, distance, and PBs. It can be a journey of self-discovery. Trail running is unpredictable, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and requires you to adapt as you go. Many trail runners find that the skills they use out on the trail translate into the rest of life.

 

Trail running can give you a community

Trail running can be a solitary pursuit, but it can also give you a new community of likeminded friends. The trail running community is known for being supportive and inclusive whether you’re experienced or brand-new to the sport. Being part of a community can give a strong sense of belonging and connection which has knock-on effects for your health.

 

Can anyone do trail running? 

One of the best things about trail running is the flexibility. It can be a short, slow jog or a mega-distance timed event. Anyone can do trail running, even if you’re just starting out with jogging. It just means heading off road rather than sticking to the pavements.

Enjoyment is such a huge part of living a healthy active lifestyle. Why not give trail running a try – it might just be your favourite way of being active in the great outdoors.

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