Getting healthier, one dusty step at a time

Feb 03, 2011

Running wild could improve health

Jogging, for most people, conjures up images of pounding the pavement along a suburban sidewalk, or perhaps using the treadmill at the local health club. However, the Los Angeles Times reports more and more people are getting closer to nature by incorporating trail running into their workouts.

Trail running is simply off-road jogging, whether on marked but unpaved paths or simply across the natural landscape in whatever way possible. Practitioners swear by the practice, telling the Times it can help improve mental as well as physical well-being.

"All you know is that here are the mountains, and there's a deer and you're smelling the flowers and you don't think at all about your problems," Los Angeles Trail Runners Club president Stan Swartz told the paper.

The Times notes, however, that the practice can be more physically taxing than road running, meaning that some older runners may want to consider carefully whether they are able to take up trail running. However, for those with the ability, such off-road exercise could help save money on life insurance, among other benefits.

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