If you get bored easily then trudging along on a treadmill is probably not for you. There’s little in the way of adventure involved with that!

You are better served taking your interest in fitness outdoors ‘where the buffalo roam’.

With or without buffalo, the trails is where REAL adventure awaits you. Magnificent things tend to happen when you are running them.

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Let’s start with the connection to Mother Nature

Out in the fitness world, we like to address this as ecotherapy, the cousin of psychotherapy.

The main difference is, it’s a lot cheaper and you aren’t talking to a therapist to resolve your issues. You surround yourself with fresh air, beautiful views and a comforting breeze. All of that combines to be your therapist.

Being on a trail adds another dimension

It is a very rare occasion to find that the trail you are running on is flat and smooth. You usually end up going through uneven terrain and many ups and downs.

It kind of sounds like life, doesn’t it?

This causes you to stay 100% focused on the task at hand and forget about all the fluff that you’re dealing with.

Stimulating your brain

I like to say this type of exercise has a high neurological load. When you have to think about your foot placement every step of the way, you open up new mental channels.

trail running_2Not only do you take your mind away from all that is bothering you, but you also elicit a high dose of brain activity. The end result is better brain function when you’re off the trail.

Work up a sweat

Let us not forget the caloric connection to trail running too. When you tackle difficult terrain and go up steep hills, your body has to work harder. A a result of this you then end up burning more calories.

If weight loss is your goal, then adventurous trail runs are your hookup!

Helpful tips

1. Don’t forget to run with good quality technique: Always try to land on the balls of your feet or with the entire bottom of your foot. This helps disperse impact and will place less stress on your heels, ankles, knees and hips.

2. Make sure to wear shoes that are conducive to a good range of motion: Since you will be landing with a forefoot strike, you won’t need thick-soled shoes. I know this might be in stark contrast to what you thought, but trust me!

Those shoes might give your heels a lot of protection, but they are rigid. Your toes and ankles can’t move well in them. You are actually better off with a zero heel drop or minimalist shoe.

3. If you’re afraid of roots, stumps and jagged rocks, then just become more aware! Pay attention to what you are doing and you can dodge all the obstacles like a flaming arrow zeroing in on your face.

If you have never gone trail running, there’s no time like the present to give it a whirl. Feel free to give me a shout if you need any more advice or motivation. I’m always here for you.

Connect with Expert Kevin Rail.

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