Trail and Ultrarunners Run Mostly For Mental Benefits, Study Finds
Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise, and there’s no denying its physical benefits. But what about the mental benefits? According to a new study, trail and ultrarunners are reaping the most mental benefits from their running – and it’s all thanks to the unique environment they’re running in.
What is Trail and Ultrarunning?
Trail and ultrarunning involve running over longer distances (typically anything over 10 miles) in a natural environment. This often means running on trails in the woods, although it can also mean running on beaches and in mountain ranges. It’s a form of running that requires more intense physical and mental effort than regular road running, and it’s gaining in popularity.
The Benefits of Trail and Ultrarunning
The study found that trail and ultrarunners reported higher levels of mental health benefits than their non-trail running counterparts. These benefits included improved mood, increased feelings of connectedness to nature, and greater feelings of wellbeing.
The study also found that trail and ultrarunners experienced more physical benefits than their non-trail running counterparts. These benefits included improved aerobic capacity, strength, and endurance.
The Mental Benefits of Trail and Ultrarunning
The mental benefits of trail and ultrarunning are numerous. Here are a few of the most notable:
- Reduced Stress – Trail and ultrarunning can be a great way to reduce stress levels. The natural environment and the movement of running can help to clear the mind and reduce anxiety.
- Improved Mood – One of the most significant mental benefits of trail and ultrarunning is an improved mood. Running in nature can help to lift mood and improve overall happiness.
- Greater Connectedness to Nature – Trail and ultrarunning can also help runners to feel more connected to nature. This can be especially beneficial for those who may not have access to green spaces in their day-to-day lives.
- Increased Self-Esteem – Trail and ultrarunning can also increase self-esteem. The sense of accomplishment gained from completing a long run can be incredibly empowering.
The Physical Benefits of Trail and Ultrarunning
The physical benefits of trail and ultrarunning are equally impressive. Here are a few of the most notable:
- Improved Aerobic Capacity – Trail and ultrarunning can help to improve aerobic capacity. Running in a natural environment can help to push the body to its limits and improve endurance.
- Increased Strength – Trail and ultrarunning can also help to increase strength. The uneven terrain and varied terrain can help to strengthen muscles and improve overall strength.
- Improved Endurance – Trail and ultrarunning can also help to increase endurance. The varied terrain and the longer distances can help to increase endurance and improve performance.
- Increased Physical Fitness – Trail and ultrarunning can also help to improve physical fitness. Running in nature can help to push the body to its limits and improve overall fitness.
Who Can Benefit From Trail and Ultrarunning?
Trail and ultrarunning can benefit anyone – from the novice runner to the experienced athlete. It can help to improve physical and mental health, and it can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity.
Safety Tips For Trail and Ultrarunning
Safety is paramount when running in a natural environment. Here are a few tips to help keep runners safe:
- Carry a Map and Compass – A map and compass are essential for running in unfamiliar terrain. It’s important to know where you’re going and to be able to find your way back again.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing and Gear – It’s important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for trail and ultrarunning. This includes lightweight, breathable clothing, and shoes with good grip and support.
- Carry a First Aid Kit – It’s also important to carry a first aid kit in case of injury. A basic kit should include bandages, antiseptic cream, and painkillers.
- Tell Someone Where You’re Going – It’s important to let someone know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return. This is especially important for long trail runs, or for runs in remote areas.
The Benefits of Trail and Ultrarunning for Mental Health
The study found that trail and ultrarunning can be beneficial for mental health. It can help to reduce stress and improve mood, as well as increase feelings of connectedness to nature. It can also increase self-esteem, and help to improve overall wellbeing.
Trail and ultrarunning can be a great way to reap the mental and physical benefits of running. It can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of connectedness to nature. It can also help to increase strength, endurance, and overall physical fitness. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. However, it’s important to take safety into account when running in a natural environment. With the right precautions, trail and ultrarunning can be an enjoyable and beneficial activity.
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