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MIND AND BODY BENEFITS OF RUNNING IN NATURE
I wanted to share a few reasons why you should consider spending less time on the pavement and more time ambling along tree-covered paths.
Being in nature is good for you
Trail running takes us up the mountain, over the river and through the woods, and that often gives us a much more scenic view than we could ever hope for on an urban jaunt on the road. And if the scenery isn’t enough to sway you to the side of trail runners, perhaps the fact that nature is good for the emotional and mental well being of all humans will be. An article published by Harvard Medical School states this: “Researchers at the University of Essex in England are advancing the notion that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Their investigations into “green exercise,” as they are calling it, dovetails with research showing benefits from living in proximity to green, open spaces. In 2010 the English scientists reported results from a meta-analysis of their own studies that showed just five minutes of green exercise resulted in improvements in self-esteem and mood.”.
The fresh air is good for you and your lungs
One of the best reasons to run on the trail is to get some fresh air—literally. Road runners in rural areas may have less traffic to grapple with than those who run on urban territory, but for both groups, getting out into the woods for a run is better for the lungs. A bit of research conducted by Active.com summarized the health effects of running in polluted air this way: “A 2004 review of pollution studies worldwide conducted by the University of Brisbane, Australia, found that during exercise, low concentrations of pollutants caused lung damage similar to that caused by high concentrations in people not working out given what can be in the air, “people who exercise outdoors should probably be more worried” than many are, said Dr. Morton Lippmann, a professor of environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.”.