Become a Trail Runner and Experience Nature as You Workout

By: L.A.Need

Are you a road runner? Love the sweat, the burn and release from a good run but tired of breathing in exhaust and running near traffic? Take the road less traveled by becoming a trail runner. Hit the off-road dirt paths, 4x4 backcountry roads and experience the tranquility, beauty and fresh air of moving through nature. Trail running offers better views, air and cushion for your stride and the same physical demands and even more benefits than running on pavement.

There are outstanding physical benefits from making the switch from road runner to trail runner. The trail runner experiences a whole body workout. The unpredictability of terrain on trails improves your sense of balance, awareness and forces your all of your body to respond. Trail runners build balance by having to run continuously on uneven rocky terrain, over water, tree roots and whatever else nature presents itself. Therefore, running on trails requires you to use more muscles which ultimately burns more calories than running on pavement or a treadmill. A trail runners ankles and knees become stronger due to the uneven terrain. Dirt trails absorb the impact for your joints, yet maximize the workouts for your muscles.

Running in sunshine, away from crowds and the mundane responsibilities of life, can help you reconnect to nature and your senses. Become a trail runner and experience the mental benefits: diversity of visual stimulation; what nature has to offer: varied terrain, wildlife, floral, fauna and new and old life;
great concentration: "zone out" and you'll trip over a root or stumble over rocks; vitamin D and increased serotonin production from natural sunshine.
Mental stress is reduced by running through nature.

HOT TIP: Be sure to practice safe trail running by knowing your route, telling someone when you'll return, carrying plenty of water (see hydration packs) and an ID.

Get off the pavement and into nature with the ultimate physical running workout as a trail runner.

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