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By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training

13 reasons to run outside

Yesterday I went running outside in addition to my regular HIIT workout. I am so sore!! But that’s another blog for later, maybe. Anyway I went running in a conservation area very close to my home. It is a beautiful wooded area where most people go hiking and a select few of us who also go running. It was the first day of the Spring season for me where it had no snow, no rain, just perfection. It was great and I felt awesome and I am going again tomorrow.


Ok, so what’s the point? Well the point I am making is running seems to be so hated by many people and it has so many benefits. I just don’t understand why people are hating on it so I have decided to cite 13 reasons to start running and more specifically running outside. Yes there is a big difference between running on some boring treadmill in the gym and running on trails outside. And here they are:

  1. It’s not boring. You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Running outside is not boring because you meet other people who like running and who like nature, same as you! It’s also not boring because there are things to see outside like cute bunnies and squirrels!
  2. Endorphins are higher with outside running because you just run harder outside. There are things like wind, and hills that make you work harder and the harder you run the higher the endorphin release. (Endorphins are happy hormones that get released in your brain-they’re awesome!!!)
  3. You get to be amongst nature which has proven to make people more at ease and reduce their stress levels. Really, it’s true! So next time you feel stressed-well you know what to do. Go for a run!
  4. Oxygen. Running outside increases oxygen in your lungs because we are getting it  from the air we breathe. And it’s healthy air we are breathing in. So healthy oxygen intake. It’s a beautiful thing!
  5. You are utilizing more muscle groups. You see with indoor running it’s hard to mimic trails outside. You don’t have the variance in hill size. Outside you run down a little hill, then you run up a big hill. This is working both your hamstrings(back of legs) and quads(front of legs). You can’t get this kind of variance on a dreadmill(treadmill).
  6. Vitamin D. You sure aren’t going to get Vitamin D from sitting around your house! Or from the gym either. You can only get pure Vitamin D from going outside.
  7. Because running is more enjoyable and not associated with going to the gym, you are more motivated to do it and thus will be more consistent with your running which in turn will get you results!
  8. Calorie burn. Because your body runs harder outside you will burn more calories and you will also have the after burn effect with running. Look forward to burning an extra 150 or so calories hours after you are done running. This can happen with treadmill running too but not to the same degree.
  9. You will get a beautiful tan! You can’t get a tan running indoors or for some of you while you’re on the couch!
  10. Running outside will help with self esteem, mental well being and depression and can lower cortisol hormone. * . I’ve got proof. Look at the end of the blog for the research study.
  11. This is a good one! *Exposure to plants and trees boosts the immune system. Look forward to getting less sick or not sick at all! By the way I  never get colds or the flu. Not a coincidence.
  12. I know you’re going to like this benefit. It’s FREE! You can go anytime without paying exorbitant fees like at the gym!
  13. Running outside is time efficient. You don’t have to worry about getting into your car, driving to the gym, changing into workout clothes at the gym, changing again into regular clothes and then getting in your car to drive back home. You just step outside and start running!

So have I convince you yet to start running outdoors? It’s Spring and it’s nice outside. So get out there and enjoy all that nature has to offer you! Burn some calories, and have fun!

References:*pubmed (research on how being outside helps with depression, cortisol etc)

*pubmed (research on how being in the forest helps boost immunity)

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