Athlete trail running with On Cloud - Tifosi Sports

5 health benefits of trail running

Avid trail runners need no convincing: they know that taking to the trails is one of the best ways to stay healthy and happy.

If you’re still wondering if you should exchange the road for the trail, though, here are five reasons why it’s great for your overall health and wellbeing.

1. It’s an all-round body workout

Trail running utilises more muscles than road running. Due to the uneven terrain associated with the trails, your body is forced to use more than just your leg muscles. Instead, you’ll also engage the stabilising muscles in your feet, ankles and core, together with a much larger range of muscle groups to improve your balance and your overall running power across a range of terrains.

2. It’ll help you trim down quicker

If you’re on a weight-loss journey to improve your health, you’ll be thrilled to hear that, according to data from the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal, trail running burns between 60 and 90 calories more per hour, thanks to the added challenge of uneven terrain. Considering trail runs might take a bit more time to complete than other forms of exercise, it certainly makes trail running seem like a great weight-loss approach.

3. It’s good for your mental health

The mental health benefits of exercise have been widely documented, and when you add the wonders of the great outdoors to the mix, those benefits are markedly amplified. Perhaps it’s our return to the primal ways of our ancestors, but being outside in the arms of Mother Nature is a happiness boost like few others.

4. It strengthens cognitive wellbeing

Trail running is an excellent way of keeping your mental health on the up and up, but did you know that running also holds cognitive benefits? Running has been proven to assist us in creative endeavours and to increase vitality, positive engagement and energy.

5. It’s a cheaper form of exercise

Aside from being great for the health of your body, trail running is also a pretty awesome way to keep your financial health in check. When stripped down to the essentials, trail running can turn out to be a relatively cheap way of keeping fit. Sure, you can invest in smartwatches and other gadgets that add to your run once you’ve gotten into it, but ultimately, all you really require is a good pair of running shoes. If you’re already a runner, you’ve got that base covered!

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