Traveler Tips: Take it to the Trails

The Pacific Northwest eternal running question – is it better to run on the trails or pavement? First, let’s talk a bit about running basics. Running strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, has been shown to strengthen leg muscles, improves bone density of the legs and hips while helping you maintain body weight and a healthy emotional/mental state. While I am a lover of running in the Pacific Northwest, trail running does all the above and maybe a bit more! 1. Cost – There’s a simplicity to Pacific Northwest trail running compared to other activities. It’s just you and the Pacific Northwest natural environment – try kayaking without a kayak. In our consumer culture it’s easy to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars trying to improve your health and fitness. Trail running can fall into this same trap at times – GPS watches, Gore-tex water repellent gear and race fees can add up quickly. However, to participate in Pacific Northwest trail running at the basic level, all you really need is a pair of running shoes and maybe a water bottle for those longer runs – that’s it! 2. Build Muscle – Hitting the Pacific Northwest trail – even a smooth gravel, dirt or woodchip path works your muscles, tendons and ligaments (and more) differently than running on the road or treadmill. By running a Pacific Northwest trail that takes you uphill or down… You’re not only strengthening your cardiovascular system, but developing quads, glutes, calves, and core, too. 3. Fewer Injuries – Let’s face it, the tribulation that many runners face is the possibility of injury. Injuries can set you back from achieving your goals and participating in your favorite Pacific Northwest past-time. Trail running surfaces are much softer than the asphalt or concrete you’ll encounter running in the city. Softer surfaces mean fewer injuries naturally, not only due to lower impact forces, but also because you strengthen the stability muscles in your lower legs. These muscles help absorb impact forces and provide greater support – no matter what type of surface you’re running on. 4. Skill Level – From a skill perspective Pacific Northwest trail running is accessible by most people. Running was an important evolutionary development, so it’s a skill virtually every human being is able to do. While it may take some effort and patience, even the most non-athletic couch potato can run, at least for a short distance. From a health perspective, you don’t need to win races or even race at all to reap the benefits. Compared to other Pacific Northwest activities such as skiing or Olympic Weightlifting which require more time to develop technical proficiency, trail running comes out ahead on the learning curve. 5. Improves Cognitive & Emotional Health – This is the category where Pacific Northwest trail running really excels when compared to other types of exercise. Considered by many to be a “Green” exercise – working out in the outdoors offers many benefits you can’t get in the gym. In our plugged in non-stop world full of electronic devices getting a Pacific Northwest run in nature is a great way to reduce the mental stress from being connected 24-7. Here’s how Pacific Northwest trail running can help you beyond just physical fitness: Improve your mental health. Increase vitality, energy and positive engagement. Reduce tension, confusion, anger and depression. Provide greater enjoyment and satisfaction so you’re more likely to repeat the activity at a later date. Makes you more creative. Exercising in the Pacific Northwest outdoors also optimizes your circadian rhythm helping you sleep better. Getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis is a cornerstone of good health. Poor sleep habits can lead to many physical and mental problems – not to mention that running up and down hills will tire you out enough to sleep well!, 05 Jan 2020 21:06:06 GMTThe Traveler

4 thoughts on “Traveler Tips: Take it to the Trails”

  1. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs
    really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back
    later on. Cheers

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