Running outdoor health & wellness
Title: 6 Health Benefits Of Taking Your Run Outside + Helpful Reminders When Running
No doubt, running is one of the best and most effective ways of burning calories. According to
Harvard University study, just 30 minutes of running can burn at least 270 to 400 calories
depending on weight and running speed. Aside from this, running is also a good cardio
exercise. It gives the heart a good boost to pump and provide oxygen-rich blood to the cells.
Because of these reasons, the treadmill becomes a favorite exercise equipment. It mimics
running activities and you can even set the speed, the terrain, and difficulty. Do you own a
treadmill at home or do you just love to use the treadmill in the gym? While using the treadmill is
good, did you know that running outdoors has more health benefits?
Check out the six benefits you get from taking your run outside.
#6 Build more muscle.
If your goal is to work on your glutes and improve your muscle built, ditch the treadmill and head
out for a good outdoor run. According to Pamela Geisel, a certified strength and conditioning
specialist with the Hospital for Special Surgery's James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center
and Tisch Sports Performance, your glutes become inactive when you use the treadmill.
Normally, your glutes support your legs and act as a spring to bring your legs back underneath
you. If you use the treadmill, the rubber floor belt does the work of the glutes.
#5 Get you ready for marathons and races.
Are you an avid fan of marathons and races? Then, the treadmill is not for you. Running outside
and feeling the earth under your feet is the best practice and preparation for your next
marathon. Geisel added that you need to prepare your body for the actual race and condition
your body to the actual environment.
#4 Increase your energy.
"When you run outside, there are typically changes in scenery, changes in direction, and a
sense of exploration. You lose that when you take it indoors and complete your workout by
running in place," Geisel said. If you just run on a treadmill, you see the same things over and
over again. You do not get inspiration from the sceneries you can witness outside. Do you see
why gyms have LCDs in front of the treadmill? You need a change of atmosphere to boost your
mood and create positive vibes. If you run outside, you get natural views.
#3 Reduce injury risk.
The treadmill has a soft surface which results in less impact on your bones and tissues.
However, this comfortable feature is not always a good thing. The natural, hardened surface of
pavement, mountain trails and other outside terrain can help develop your bone growth, muscle
and tissue strength. Natural terrain stimulate bone and muscle activities. However, do check out
the conditions before you run outside. If there is snow or it just rained and pavement is wet, it
may not be a good idea to run outside. Also, keep in mind the distance. Remember that if you
run for 5 kilometers, you will need to run back the entire length. It might wear out your muscles
and tissues if you do not calculate the distance of your daily run. Make careful plans so you can
reduce your risk.
#2 Burn more calories.
"Outdoors, you are changing surfaces constantly, fighting the wind, and making quick and
sudden starts and stops, which all lead to increased caloric burn," says physical therapist
Michael Silverman, director of rehabilitation and wellness at Northern Westchester Hospital.
If you run indoors, the environment is controlled. Often, gyms have air conditioning systems so
you do not sweat as much. If you run outdoors, you have natural temperature and you will easily
#1 Improve heart health.
Running outside will introduce you to various conditions that will make you run fast or slow.
There will be changing terrains, curbs and turns. These natural conditions will increase the
difficulty of your activity and stimulate your heart to pump more blood. Moreover, your body is
exposed to early morning sunlight which is essential in stimulating vitamin D in your body. In the
long term, exposure to natural elements will boost your heart health.
Running outdoors have really good benefits that will keep your body strong and healthy in the
long term. However, there are precautions to remember so that you avoid getting yourself hurt
when running outdoors.
Helpful reminders when running outdoors
Land on the midsole of your foot.
This will reduce the impact of the run on the joints and bones. Landing on your midsole allows
your muscle to catch the weight of your body. You can avoid sprained ankles if you master the
way you land your foot when running.
Take short effective strides.
Shorter strides reduce the movement within your joints, especially your ankles, knees and hips.
Effective shorter strides can avoid wear and tear of muscle tissues. You can avoid that burning
feeling inside your muscles after a run.
Try barefoot running shoes.
Did you know that Greek athletes run barefoot? And for good reasons. It strengthens the
muscles in your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. However, if running barefoot scares
you, there are good barefoot running shoes that support the natural contours of your feet and
ankle. It can be pricey but it’s worth the investment.
Run farther and faster.
Implement an interval training that will help you speed up your running time and increase your
distance. Start with a block and increase your distance and speed, gradually. Instead of running
for four miles on your first day, build up your distance and work on your running time. Take
power walks and jogs in between to set the pace. You can run the same block for a week and
see the improvement of your speed day after day. Next, you can increase your distance and see
how you clock in. This interval training will develop your running skills faster with less injury and