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Mental Benefits of Running in Nature

Alternating between road or track field run for a trail run provides so many mental and physical advantages, everything from lowering anxiety to using more muscle groups. Some of us, maybe all of us deep down, as human beings we have an innate need for adventure in nature.

Often we crave it.

Running in nature on the trail, it can improve life satisfaction, increase mindfulness, self-efficacy and decrease in the perceptions of stressful demands.

While this may not be practical every day, especially if we live in an urban area, we can make trail running a fun weekly activity if we plan ahead. According to our schedule, we should take the time to head to our nearest area of countryside or trail for a long run on the nice trail, so we can reach the following benefits:

1. We Will Use More Muscles

Running on the trails with rocks, mud, technical ground, flat routes and hills, will help to ensure our body works a much greater range of muscle groups, not just in our legs but also the stabilising muscles in our core, feet and ankles. This will improve our balance as well as our overall running power on all terrains.

2. Help Reduce Our Risk of Injury

With each foot strike on a road or concrete surface, we’re generally hitting the same muscles with the same impact, foot strike over and over, but mixed terrain surfaces will mean our gait and foot strike is slightly different each stride, meaning we will spread the impact over a great range of muscles. In turn, we will put less pressure on individual muscles and joints.

3. We Will Be Less Anxious

Doing nature-based physical activities could lower stress and anxiety, while boosting mental wellbeing, maximising the existing mood and improving the quality of exercises.

4. Better Sleep

Running in nature provides some nice mental therapy. Mentally and physically we feel better during and after the trail run, which can help support a much better sleep pattern and deep sleep quality.

5. It Could Help Live Longer

Living in a green space meant a 12% lower rate of death compared to living in a city town environment. While we can’t usually live in nature, doing some nice trail runs or hike helps us insert some of those longevity boosting benefits.

6. We Will Lose Some Body Fat Faster

For those looking to lose some kilos, trail running can help us burn between 60 to 90 calories more per hour, according to some research data, this extra fat loss is due to the added challenge of uneven terrain.

7. It Will Get Us Out of Those Negative Thought Spirits

Nature exposure reduces stress, such as when we get into a dreadful thought cycle associated with depression. A 90-minute hike or run in nature lessens this negative brain activity, whereas the same exercise on a road area has not as much benefits.

8. Combine Road and Trail Running

It’s not that road running doesn’t allow any mental health benefits, far from it. Performing some nice slow peaceful road runs, not only focusing on speedwork can also be very good for our mental therapy. To combine both road and trail runs regularly, we will feel better and it can lead to better productivity, higher endorphins, greater happiness and a greater ability to regulate our emotions.

Nice Trail Runs, Positive Mental Feelings, Nice Physical and Mental Wellness, Better Run and Better Sleep!


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