There are several key reasons why trail running trumps road running when it comes to health benefits and many of them tick those boxes which health professionals advise in order to live a healthier life.
Firstly, physiological benefits. It’s less likely to induce repetitive strain injuries that come from running on road as every footfall on a trail is different. It requires stronger muscles and engages the full body (arms, legs and torso). It’s less impacting on joints through softer surfaces. Finally, it takes you away from those more polluted road sides with their hazards of fast-moving vehicles.
Secondly, psychological benefits. It requires mindfulness. Unlike road running, you have to be present in the moment (so you don’t fall over!), the trail is constantly changing direction and combined with undulations, it requires complete concentration, a sense of meditation. Add to that the health benefits of being in green spaces, you have the ultimate form of headspace.
Thirdly, freedom. Your options for running different routes suddenly moves from being limited to just a few to almost limitless options!