Ok, bear with me on this one, I don’t mean to sound so aggressive….I also don’t want you to all disappear out of my life. I actually want to tell you about the benefits of getting out into the countryside, getting lost out there and enjoying some scenery. I also don’t mean get so lost that you need the emergency services to come get you either, please be sensible 😉
Anyway, getting out into the countryside provides many benefits, both physically and mentally. Here are my top reasons for getting outside and running/walking.
1. It’s good for your Mental Health
For me, getting out over the north downs where I live is the most amazing feeling. The fresh air, the peace and quiet, the views, the joy of the climbs, the thrill of the downhill, it all provides me with this superb happy place that takes away any stresses of the past week or longer. I’m no country bumpkin but many people will back me when I say that taking the time out to be in these places relieves anxiety, it makes me appreciate what I have, it makes me more humble about the people who are there for me and it makes me happy. If something makes you smile, do more of it.
2. You can get muddy
Who needs an excuse to get muddy anyway? That is the best part of it. Going out in to the countryside will always end up getting you muddy. So, stick on your trail trainers and get out and run around the countryside, jump through mud (but please don’t face plant the floor) and enjoy the thrill of keeping your balance whilst running in the middle of nowhere. Concentrating on this aspect of trail running very much detracts your mind from the stresses and strains of life also. This distraction provides so relief and gives you a real sense of relaxation. It also gives you a good excuse to have a lovely long soak in the bath when you get home. Talking of which……
3. An excuse for a bath
Get home, shower off all that mud and then run a nice warm bath. Stick in a couple of handfuls (or the whole bag) of Epsom salts and away you go, unless you have kids of course!! They always want to come in when you are having a bath or just generally in the bathroom!! Why is this?? There must be some scientific study that tells us why!! Anyway, if you are lucky enough to a) have the time and b) not have kids, then grab yourself and bath and enjoy some you time after a long run/walk
4. Trail running is good for the muscles
Whilst going out of your front door and running around your neighbourhood is the quickest and easiest way to get out and run, it can quite easily cause injury because you use predominantly the same muscles when pounding the tarmac. Heading for the trails is the perfect way to use all sorts of different muscles. The undulation of the trails, the uneven grounds and the dodging of trees and most importantly, cow pat mean you use different muscles to the ones you use when out on the roads. This will make your legs stronger and relief some tension on the muscles that are normally used to excess when pounding the streets.
Tips when running the trails
- Tell someone where you are going or go with another person or group. It’s important someone else knows where you are going and what time they should expect to hear from you.
- Wrap up warm in the weather and take a bag big enough to store your coat if you need to discard it.
- Take water. Staying hydrated is obviously something you need to do no matter whether you are running on the roads or trails but remember to take water with you to keep you going.
- Stop and enjoy the views. Take photos, breath in the fresh air and enjoy it. Send us some snaps on our Facebook group Running is our therapy and let us know how good running the trails was for you