The question of the health benefits of trail running is constantly discussed and obviously it does not have a binary or categorical answer. Like any sports or outdoor activity, trail running is good for your health. As long as it is practiced in a measured and thoughtful way.
But like any sport in high doses, it involves risks, especially for people not followed the rules or for those who want to perform without serious and graded training.
Finally, like any physical activity, trail running involves some dangers and injuries that are linked to shocks, muscle strain and sometimes comes from inadequate equipment.
Beyond these trail accidents, trail running is generally good for health if you practice in good conditions, follow the instruction and equipped yourself with the right equipment.
- Six Health Benefits of Trail Running
- Tips for Avoid Dangers of Trail Running
Six Health Benefits of Trail Running
Like any sporting activity, trail running has multiple benefits for our health, both physical and mental.
So let’s see how trail running is good for health…
1. Muscle strengthening
Trail running requires a great muscular commitment and good qualities of proprioception. It strengthens the same muscles as used in road running, but also uses small stabilizing muscles.
Trail running performance on the lateral movements and in the body’s balance. Therefore, all the deep muscles of the thigh, abdominals and lower back are simultaneously strengthened along with the foot and ankle.
2. Improved balance and proception
Trail running requires runners to constantly and quickly adjust their support in rough terrain. This strengthens the knowledge of balance and improves the feeling of the ground. The stabilizing muscles, the foot and the ankles come out improved in agility and strength after trail sessions.
3. Respite in the joints
This is not a widely used notion, but trail running places less strain on the kneecaps and hips than road racing. The softer surface of the trails absorbs more shock and then relieves the joints.
4. A good cardio workout
Not only the trail running is good for the heart if it is practiced at a correct pace and adapted to its physical condition, but it is also a training that brings strength and tone.
As hill training is good for your property, a course with elevation is also good for improving your cardiac performance.
5. A bowl of oxygen
This is not the only sport to offer clean air, but the framework of most trails is really favorable for oxygenation of your body.
Most of the time, you are far from all roads and all sources of pollution and if you are not at a very high altitude; you enjoy pure air loaded with oxygen!
6. An anti-stress
Playing sports in freedom in a pure and beautiful environment is an antidote to gloom and relief from stress. By trailering on steep paths and in somewhat isolated regions, you clear your head of all worries and gloomy ideas. You load up with endorphin and positive and motivating images more easily to forget the worries of everyday life.
In the long term, trail running is as good for the head as it is for the body. And it is not insignificant for health.
Tips for Avoid Dangers of Trail Running
Let’s see the dangers and how to avoid them while trail running…
Go beyond your limits
As with all sports and competition, emulation and the desire to surpass yourself can push everyone to go too far. While these intentions are laudable, they are often dangerous, especially in a somewhat extreme sport such as trail running.
As in many mass events open to everyone, often participants are not sufficiently prepared and trained. Or, they embark on challenges that are not within their reach.
In these cases, it is often serious but foreseeable health accidents can occur: muscle damage, distress situations or heart problems for the most serious.
Trail running is not a trivial sport
Trail running is a great outdoor practice, often alone, and can cause dramatic emergencies. It is important to monitor medically in its objectives and train with experienced people. It is also essential to go gradually in the difficulty level and to align only on the tests which are accessible.
If you are just starting out, ask for advice from people who have already practiced or from clubs that can guide you in your choices and your training.
Even the most seasoned athletes can find themselves in situations of over training. Sometimes programs are too focused, and too busy to achieve a goal or to come back faster after a period of downtime.
Over training can lead to deep muscle fatigue, which leads to weakening in the face of various injuries. Over training can also lower your immune system and make you more vulnerable to germs and viruses. Finally, it can have a negative effect on morale and lead to depressive episodes.
Remember to get in touch with a sports coach or a specialized trainer who can build personalized programs adapted to your situation. And above all, do not think that it is always by doing more that we improve in the sport. Proper and well-dosed training is often preferable to improve performance and achieve reasonable goals.
Falls and other accidents
Like all sports, trail running involves a small risk of accidents. They are often the result of falls, uncontrolled slips or collisions with stones or roots.
However, most of these accidents are annoying in the middle of an ordeal or training. But they are not very serious. Few of them endanger the life of runners.
However, fractures, sprains or strains can occur, the difficulty often arises from their occurrence in a relatively isolated environment with no nearby assistance.
When it’s a well-organized event, it shouldn’t be too much problem because other competitors can help. But when you’re alone in training, it can be tricky. It is therefore essential to always have a smartphone with a full battery (or even a backup one) and the emergency numbers recorded.
This is the common problem of a lot of runners, regardless of the coating. There are no more muscle injuries in trail running than in road racing or elsewhere.
There are of course muscle injuries due to chance, but most of them are the result of poor movement, faulty or unsuitable equipment (shoes) or modified running technique.
You will find a guide to the most common muscle injuries, with their most common symptoms and an explanation of their possible origins.
Progressive drop shoe solutions can be an excellent remedy for regaining a natural stride less prone to accidents and muscle damage. Compression garments are also of great help to avoid micro lesions and facilitate recovery.
By combining these aids with adapted training and controlled hygiene of life, you will put all the chances on your side to avoid the problems with the muscles in trail running.
Exercising is always good for your health! And trail running is no exception to this universal rule. On the health side, trail running also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. On a daily basis, your digestion will be improved… Running increases the rate at which food is metabolized by the body. In other words, the trailer stays younger longer.
So what are you waiting for to get started? However, don’t forget to carry basic safety equipment and follow the instruction I mentioned above.