Outdoor running is both underrated and overrated in the same breath, as for every individual creating human traffic on public roads through the undertaking of a vigorous fixture of running there is somebody comfortably parked in front of a treadmill steadily adjusting their respective speeds and inclination to make sure that their fitness ambitions are achieved through the manipulation of these variables. Despite this the benefits of running outdoors remain both tragically underrated and somewhat unknown. I’ll go through some of them to help encourage your guys to literally … walk with nature. 

Keep Your Body Guessing

One of the major benefits of outdoor running is the idea that the running is of an undetermined nature, this means the body is constantly adjusting and readjusting to the conditions of the road and impending hills that you come across. The non- constant linear state you find yourself in due to the constant evading of people and potential pets also adds to your total energy exertion from running. The inability for your body to have a routine allows the shock factor to maximise energy usage within your body. Your VO2 max and lung capacity also greatly benefit from this. The continuous undertaking of the same style of running (i.e. a treadmill) allows your body to set minimum energy levels that it expends towards a given exercise which will mean that the burn from a given exercise won’t be maximised and the greatest level of weight loss will not be able to be achieved as a result of this. Running outdoors moves to eradicate such an issue ever taking place due to the sheer random nature of the runs being undertaken. 

*TIP* Do vary the routes taken on your runs as your body can still adjust to the routes taken which will lead you to running into similar issues as to which are faced on a treadmill 

I Can Feel It In My Bones, Literally

The heavy impact nature of running is stated to build upon existing bone mineral density (BMD), this a measure of how strong your bones are. The impact of running on BMD is stated to be larger than on Cycling and Resistance training according to a study.The study moved to show that a RUN group had significantly higher spine BMD and tended to have higher whole-body BMD than a CYCLE group (1). This highlighting how beneficial running can be towards preserving your bones and allowing for them to continuously develop over other cardio activity such as cycling.

Get The (Not So) Creative Juices Flowing

Running is an amazing cardiovascular activity you can partake in which moves to drastically decrease your likelihood of suffering from cardiovascular disease according to a study in the  Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2). The comparison to those of whom have never run before is damning as regular runners are stated to have half the chance of dying (from heart disease) in comparison to those of whom have never run before. Your resting heart rate is also boosted every time you run so your body learn to efficiently pump blood around your body without forcing your heart to work harder; this reducing your overall resting heart rate. Your blood pressure levels are also rapidly reduced through the act of running. 

You Don’t Need A Gym Membership 

There a lot of reasons preventing individuals from fully pursuing the “gym life” so to speak but running outdoor moves to eliminate the monetary element of this process as the streets are a public good and can in turn be accessed by anyone. So there has never been a better time to lace up your shoes and go out for a FREE and enthralling journey on the roads. 

Plus, with startups like Health Haven providing you affordable access to fitness professionals who can best advise you on how to maximise running’s benefits, there couldn’t be a better time to get involved.

Marvin Merela
Athlete and Trainer

Sources : (1) https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/fulltext/2009/03000/Lean_Body_Mass_and_Weight_Bearing_Activity_in_the.12.aspx#pdf-link

(2) Journal of the American College of Cardiology

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