Benefits of Trail Running

The Benefits of Trail Running and Getting Outside

Yesterday, I went on a trail run up American Fork Canyon to an awesome lookout that showcases Mount Timpanogos. American Fork Canyon is famous for the Timpanogos Cave National Monument, which resides on its south side. The canyon is named after the American Fork River which runs through the bottom of the canyon. Running in the mountains is one of my favorite things to do.

In this blog, I'll cover some of the benefits of trail running.


Five Benefits of Trail Running

There are many benefits from running in the mountains. Below are five that I feel when I run in the mountains.

1. You Get Energy

You get energy. I feel the energy the moment I decide I'm going on a run in the mountains. I typically go running with a few people and as we talk about our running route, the excitement and energy starts to build. As I run up a mountain, I expend energy, but I feel a new energy shoot through my entire body. Even though I'm tired when I finish a trail run, I take a new energy with me through out the day.


2. You Get a Core Body Workout

You get a core body workout. Trail running is a core body workout. Unlike running on a paved road, you are consistently moving around bends, dodging rocks, and moving your body position. After a nice trail run, you'll feel the burn in your legs and your core. Running works not only your six-pack rectus abdominis, but also the deeper core muscles including your obliques, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis, which are responsible for sucking in your gut, stabilizing your spine, and transferring power between your swinging arms and legs.


3.  You Become More Healthy

You become more healthy. Unlike popular belief that running hurts your joints. A Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study of nearly 100,000 runners and walkers found that running doesn't risk knee osteoarthritis. Every time you pound the pavement you stress your bones and cartilage, just like muscles, causing them to spring back stronger. Running also helps the mental side of my life. Even though I'm running, my mind goes into a state of mediation. During a run, I find it relieves stress and helps me solve problems. Studies have shown that it can help fight depression and anxiety. Running also helps strengthen your heart according to this study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


4. You Cover Distance Quicker

You cover distance quicker. Because you're running in the mountains, you can cover more distance then walking. Before you know it, you've covered 6 miles and find yourself in places most people don't travel. Which means you get to view amazing things. This might sound weird, but running a trail is less of a drag on my body than walking the trail. Yesterday, we were able to cover many miles that took us to a beautiful lookout. This lookout is far out there, so we were the only ones there. If this lookout was a mile off the road, it would be covered with people. So this simple lookout sanctuary is one of the many benefits from trail running.


5. You Take in Amazing Views

You take in amazing views. Trail running takes you places most people will never see. These places come with the most amazing views and life experiences. These views mean more because of all the effort it took to reach them. Running teaches you that you can conquer any mountain as long as you move forward. You combine the strength you feel from reaching a peak with the amazing view and you'll see why trail running is one of my favorite activities. 


But it Sounds Like Death

For those of you that don't like running or think the thought of running up a mountain sounds like death, just start by walking around your neighborhood. Once you feel comfortable with that, set a goal to go on a walk in the mountains. As you progress and get better at doing that, you can start jogging and even start to add in running - you'll start to really experience the benefits of running on trails. The experience and views are waiting for you.

What did I capture the pictures with?

Shot using the Canon 6D