Trail Running

Trail Running For Your Health

If you are a looking for a great way to get in shape while enjoying the outdoors, trail running may be the perfect sport for you. Trail running is a lot like hiking, except instead of taking your time while enjoying the scenery, trail running pushes your physical limitations and has you including speed in your exercise. It is important to make sure that you are in good physical condition before heading out to the trails. If you have never hiked before, you may want to try that a few times before increasing your walking level to running. If you haven’t exercised in a long time or have any health problems, it would be a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning.

There are numerous benefits to trail running as opposed to running in the city or a residential town. The first benefit is the decreased pressure on your knees and your ankles. When you run on pavement or an equally hard surface, your joints absorb a great deal of shock. Running on a softer surface such as dirt or sand, is less harsh on your joints and will cause fewer problems over time. Another benefit that you won’t get from running in “civilization” is inhaling fewer toxins. When you run in areas that are highly polluted and congested from vehicles and buildings, you are more likely to breathe in potentially harmful substances. You breathe deeper when you exercise, so you would be inhaling more pollutants than during regular daily activities. Trails are generally set away from commercial or residential areas and have much less pollution in the air. You can breathe easier! Trail running also provides for a varied workout. As the trails are often made up of uneven terrain, your legs will get more exercise as they adapt to changing angles and surfaces. What you will still get from trail running (as opposed to regular track or street running) is the great cardiovascular benefits of running, the increased strength, stamina and flexibility.

You should be prepared if you are going to hit the trails. Know where you are going, bring a map or research the trail before hand. Running in the woods or in desert areas is not like running on streets with street signs. It is very easy to get lost and there are very few people that will be around to help you. You should have a backpack with water and a first aid kit in case you run into an emergency. The pack will also provide a bit of extra weight for your workout, increasing your strength as you go. Keep in mind though that if it is too heavy, you will get more easily fatigued and may not be able to run as far.

Having the proper shoes is also important. You should find shoes specifically made for trail running as they will offer support for your foot and will have special soles for increased traction.

Trail running is a fabulous way to get in shape while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike rack store.

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Posted by The Running Guy - August 8, 2009 at 6:48 am

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