5 Top Benefits of Running Outdoors
Health,  Outdoors

5 Top Benefits of Running Outdoors

Authored by Athena Nagel

Running is the best aerobic exercise which can be done anywhere like balconies, hotel rooms, parks, and on the treadmill inside a gym. While some prefer running outdoors, sometimes the weather or situation demands an indoor workout.

According to outdoorfitlab.com, studies have proven that running outdoors has a greater impact on physiological and psychological performance. Here are the top benefits of running outdoors.

5 Top Benefits of Running Outdoors

  • Improves Your Well-Being

As per the research study, spending time in nature has a calming effect on your mind and body. Exercising in a natural environment provides a greater feeling of positive engagement and revitalization. Running outdoors decreases depression, anger, confusion, and tension and increases energy.

Study participants reported greater satisfaction and enjoyment after outdoor exercise than indoor activities.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for the human body. It helps regulate phosphate and calcium content in your body. A lack of vitamin D can cause osteomalacia, bone pain in adults. According to outdoorfitlab.com, the early morning sun from 7 am to 9 am helps generate vitamin D.

When you run outside, your body is soaked in the morning sun. It gets an opportunity to make vitamin D. It means you do not have to take out time to bask in the sun to help the body make vitamin D.

As per nutrition research, 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Running outdoors can help get more vitamin D naturally and help cure health problems like a weak immune system, poor bone density, and depression.

  • Burns More Calories

If you are running to burn calories, running outdoors can help you burn more. When running outdoors, you have to fight the winds, hop over curbs, and change your directions to keep as the road winds up or down the hill.

When running outdoors, you have to put more effort than running over a treadmill. All this translates to burning more calories. Hence, outdoor running is far better than putting your treadmill on a 1% incline.

  • Outside View is Better

You come across dogs, parks, beautiful architecture, and many more exciting views than a row of people running on the treadmill when you are running outside. A study conducted by the University of Michigan found nature improves your attention span and memory.

  • You Work More Muscles

The treadmill has a flat surface, and you don’t have to put more effort while running on it. On the other hand, the roads on which you run might not be in the best condition, and you have to control your body movements to avoid obstacles or potholes on the road. Also, when you are running outside, there might be a change in the terrain, and you have to change your movements to keep your body stable.

If you are running uphill, you have to bend forward at the waist to maintain the center of gravity and balance your body. Similarly, you have to bend backward at the waist slightly to maintain balance when running downhill.  It means your body has to work more muscles when running outside.

The treadmill does not offer any terrain characteristics, so you don’t have to put effort into maintaining the center of gravity or balance. Studies have also shown that running outside on different terrains increases ankle flexibility and leg strength compared to running indoors on a treadmill.

To sum up, the list of health benefits of running is quite long. Running outside in natural surroundings brings you closer to nature, and you can go for a run anywhere, nearest mountain trail, sidewalk, road, the list is endless.

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