Why You Should Run Outside

How To Run Safely During Coronavirus Quarantine

Why You Should Run Outside

We're deep into this strange, frightening, and difficult new reality, when going outside must serve essential purposes during the coronavirus pandemic. For many of us, moving our body is still one of them.

If you've been trying to run, you are not alone.

In neighborhoods across the country, people have been out there, pushing their bodies forward at all paces to feel a small sense of freedom, control, and release in a time where we're surrounded by a lot of darkness.

But it's concerning, thinking about breathing as you navigate sidewalks and other people. Running is also hard. It can be boring and painful, and it's often difficult to ignore your brain when it's screaming at you to give up. In sum, running right now seems impossible. It doesn't have to be.

I put together some tips for running in the time of quarantine to ensure you are safe, respect other people around you, and try and feel a little more at ease. And although I am far from an expert, I have learned a lot about perseverance, endurance, and listening to your body, through injuries, tears, race wins, many sufferfests, ultra-running adventures, coaches, and friends.

A little bit about me: My body and my brain to run. And I run a lot. Before the world came to a halt, I was averaging about 70 miles a week.

Most people in my life think I am weird because I willingly pay money to go run 50, 63, or 100 miles (known as ultramarathons), through deserts, mountains, in the rain, and into the night, for “fun.

” But when I am out there, things fit, there’s a gritty clarity, and I feel unequivocally myself.

Running, though, has not always been my thing. I used to dread it, eyes locked on the treadmill at the gym, watching the red numbers creep along, losing my mind. I spent many mornings begrudgingly taking off down the block, laughing at myself for thinking I'd make it a mile.

Even after doing it consistently and seriously for five years now, there are still days when it’s tough and I get frustrated and discouraged. Now, though, I am trying to see every chance I have to step outside and log some miles as a gift, even when I feel worn and weighed down.

One of the most beautiful things about running is the “why.” People run for a myriad of reasons: to lose weight, help their heart, challenge themselves, find connection.

They also run because it's their release, it gets them into their skin, it brings joy, makes grief more manageable, shakes loose the heaviness. It doesn’t click this for everyone, I know, but there is a “why” to the run. Mull over yours, and hold onto it.

We will get (and run) through this, because the truth is, you are capable of more than you realize and humans are resilient.

First of all, can I catch COVID-19 while running?

There has been no evidence that sweat transmits the coronavirus. Surfaces, however, can be risky, the CDC warns, since people often cough and sneeze into their hands and then touch all the things.

Remember to use your elbow, sleeve, or the bottom of your shirt to touch metal, and don’t touch your face. Same goes for bathrooms and water fountains.

If you are not me and think ahead, take a rag or some tissues with you in a little ziplock bag to touch doorknobs and contact points and to wipe your nose or sweat from your face. You can keep your phone in there to protect it too.

What about wearing a mask?

The Centers for Disease Control is now recommending that everyone wear a face mask in public, but the idea of trying to run and breathe in one sounds really rough.

The CDC is not asking us to stop exercising outside, but they're imploring us to be smart. You shouldn't be surrounded by people right now, but if you do usually run through bustling sidewalks, experts suggest taking that extra precaution.

You can bring one with you to put on when you get to that section you know might be more risky.

But what kind? Health officials say we should be sporting a cloth mask that we can rewash and use every day. You can make one yourself using CDC guidelines. Or they say you can cut up old shirts or use a bandana.

Let me also introduce you to buffs (aka neck-gaiters), an ultra-runner's best friend. We use these on trails to help protect against dust, sun, keep ourselves warm.

They're multifunctional and great options for running outside right now.

Running with a mask will make it harder, but you can always slow your pace (I'll get to that part soon) and practice breathing exercises. Shape and Runner's World have some helpful and easy tips on how to deepen your breathing and teach your body how to take in the most oxygen. The most important thing is to stay calm, keep it comfortable, and start slow.

Why would I run right now?

Running can become therapy, church, a void where you can be present and absent all at once. It’s a time in which you can blast that one song on repeat and a way to release rage, process pain, cry.

I have run through a lot: covering wildfires, hurricanes, mass shootings, watching my hometown burn down, heartbreaks, my parents’ divorce, not having my mom in my life for years.

It has taught me how to face and manage anxiety and helped me heal through a dark period in my life when I developed an eating disorder, teaching and enabling me, after years and years of self-disdain and sabotage, to see my body as a powerful thing that I want to care for and support, not a machine to punish, deprive, or tear down. Running helped me discover me. Neuroscientists have also repeatedly explained how it rejuvenates and clears your mind and boosts your mental health (all good things right now).

Also, and I need to remind myself of this, give yourself a little grace when it's tough.

We are living in an extremely difficult time, and stress and anxiety are seeping into us from all aspects of our lives. Stress takes a physical toll.

Meaning, even if you're not exerting yourself in a workout class, your body is worn out, and that makes everything harder than it normally would be.

But how do I navigate a busy city, NYC, during this time?

I know that right now, especially for my friends in New York City, thinking about being outside, streaming through busy sidewalks, and breathing around others is scary. You can create space for yourself. Stay present. Bring your mask.

If another runner is heading your direction on the sidewalk or street, make eye contact, wave, acknowledge that you're sticking to one side. If you are running up behind someone on a narrow path, trail, or sidewalk, let them know before you get there. Say hi, good morning, on your left; give them time to give you that distance.

Remember to also think about and respect walkers when you jog by. Respect their bubble. Don’t pant, cough, or sneeze in their proximity.

Officials have been encouraging us to run solo. Paris recently banned people from running outside during the day because once the spring weather hit, joggers started congregating in groups. The running community has created a #runsolo movement to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.

What if I feel sick?

If you're feeling sick, DO NOT run. Sneezing? Coughing? Think it might just be a cold? Don't try to “sweat it out” right now. It’s too risky. Focus on resting and boosting your immunity. Pump up your vitamin C, zinc, vitamin B, and magnesium.

Running outside alone kind of freaks me out. How do I stay safe?

I know that that running alone, especially at night, can make people feel uneasy. I usually do not run with music (I know, again, I'm weird). But when I do, I never wear headphones. If you're running at night, I would suggest ditching the Pods or at least leaving one ear open.

I turn on my iPhone flashlight if it's particularly dark. I have friends who run with headlamps or flashers (gear options here). Tell someone that you're going for a run, how long you should be gone, and where you’ll be if you're nervous.

You can always share your location with friends and family too.

Back to the no-music thing for a second. I used to panic if my music died during a run. When I joined my first marathon-training group, our coaches encouraged us to talk to one another when we would be out on the roads for two, three, four hours every weekend.

Save the music for when you really need it, they'd say, give yourself something to look forward to. I came to appreciate the other sounds, especially on trails. Snippets of people's conversations, birds, kids squealing, wind, my own breath, footsteps on the pavement, the pulse of a place.

It helped me become more aware of how I was running, as well as my surroundings, which is extra important right now to stay safe. I usually start my runs with my own thoughts and let them swirl around until they flush out.

If they stay heavy, I put on the jams on speaker or listen to a podcast, depending on my mood or the workout. Try it.

It’s really hard to get and stay motivated. Any words of encouragement?

If you're having trouble motivating yourself to move right now, you're human and very much not alone. Same. Especially now, when many races are canceled, and our past lives, routines, and plans seems very far away.

It's hard to see the point in pushing yourself to do something. It's been happening to me often. Ask for help and accountability. Start a group text encouraging one another to exercise.

Agree on an hour and FaceTime with friends before and/or after you both go out. Pick a race in a city or country you've always wanted to visit or a distance that you never imagined you could cover, a 5K, 50K, whatever, and plan something for next year.

Get your friends in on it. I lean on others often for motivation, especially when I am worn down. You can email me, I'll happily help.

Don't beat yourself up. Celebrate that you are trying, that you did something you normally wouldn’t do in unprecedented circumstances.

If you're feeling particularly drained and it’s a mental war to get off the couch, make a deal with yourself to go outside or do some form of activity for 10 minutes.

After that, if you're still exhausted or not feeling great, you can stop, and you still moved your body.

I am used to working out in big classes, groups, or with friends. How can I maintain community?

Running might be an individual activity, especially now, but it does not have to feel lonely or isolating. There are so, so many running communities and groups across the country that are doing inspiring, motivating work virtually. We're solo, together, right now, and it's OK to need one another.

If there's one thing this pandemic has laid bare it's that when all the exterior things come to a grinding halt, we are really all we have and it's our connections that help us survive. There are apps for this, too.

Strava is a great way to learn about runs in your area and follow your friends, Nike Run Club is popular, and one of my friends loves Aaptiv.

And while most races around the world have been canceled, postponed, or are up in the air, there are now a ton of various virtual events that you sign up for.

Running a virtual race means you register, complete the distance (5K, 10K, marathon, running for 24 hours straight) during a certain time period, and then record your results.

Check out RunSignUp, choose your date and distance you want to try, and boom, take your pick. Many organizations will still send you a medal for participating.

In conclusion…

The act of putting one foot in front of the other to circumvent a neighborhood, circle a city, again and again, sounds a mental slog. But for a lot of us, it’s a gift because we still can. Take in your streets, even if they’re stripped and empty.

There’s a reason why a quarantined man in China ran 31 miles at once in his living room, and another, a 66-year-old, totaled 318 miles during two months of quarantine in his small Beijing apartment, logging 6 miles a day for 50 days, and runners across the world are creating races in their backyards and completing canceled marathons on their balconies.

Because they could, it was something they could own. Our bodies are still here, still working. We can do and make it through hard things.

It's dark out there right now. We have very little control over anything, and our daily lives have been excruciatingly paused as everything else around us whirls at a sickening speed. In ultra-running, our races are long and we often run through the night.

It's overwhelming, as the sun fades, to think about running 30 more miles when your legs have already logged 70. The thing is, though, you can't think that way — it's crushing. You have to take it in increments, from checkpoint to checkpoint. Being present, focusing on fueling, drinking water, and the mile that you're in.

Even if your goal is to make it a mile down the block, don't think about how far away the finish is, but know that you'll get there. any run, this period is a collection of painful, strange, illuminating miles and persistent footsteps. The pain, discomfort, despair, it all comes, and the suffering is not linear.

But you can feel it all while still moving forward. It eases and ebbs. And the light always comes back. ●

Source: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/briannasacks/running-coronavirus-quarantined-safety-tips-advice

The Coronavirus Outbreak

Why You Should Run Outside
Continue reading the main story

Welcome to the Running newsletter! Every Saturday morning, we email runners with news, advice and some motivation to help you get up and running. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

Dear Readers,

Here we are, another Saturday into our new, unsettled world. Are you hanging in there? I am, and doing better with the anxiety I wrote about last week (thanks in part to teletherapy). Running with my dog helps — I hope running is helping you, too.

Despite all that we know (and don’t know) about Covid-19, we know that with gyms closed, running is becoming increasingly popular right now.

For all you new runners out there, welcome! Here’s some advice on how to get started:

Whatever shoes and clothes you have are fine.

Normally I’d tell you to go out and get fitted for a new pair of running shoes, and to try to find clothes that are not made of cotton (because cotton gets wet with sweat and then flops around).

But right now? Pick a comfortable pair of sneakers and whatever feels good on your body. Remember, Rocky became a legend in a gray sweatsuit. Your work-in-the-yard shorts or high school reunion T-shirt will do just fine.

Pick an easy goal. You don’t need to run five miles or even a mile on your first go. How about around the block? Or to the mailbox and back? Or walk to that light pole, run to the corner, then walk to the next intersection? There’s nothing wrong with walk breaks. I still sometimes take them, and my running habit is old enough to be in high school.

Also record your workout: how far you ran, and in what time. You don’t need a GPS watch to do this. Your smartphone’s health tracker works, or you can use a free running app. You can also go back and trace your path with this pedometer. Writing things down allows you to chart your progress, which can provide a psychological boost.

Leave the headphones at home. If you’ve never run, or haven’t run in a while, it’s easy to forget that it is a very strange feeling. You’re hurtling your body through space, then crash stopping it every time your foot hits the ground. Anything not strapped down is going to hurtle and crash with you.

At the same time, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings, so that if you are about to cross paths with another person, you can make sure to maintain a six-foot distance. Running feels a bit a game of Frogger right now. You need to use all of your available senses to make sure you don’t accidentally run into someone.

So headphones can stay home for now.

Run again. That’s it! If you’re looking for guidance, our “How to Start Running” guide has an easy schedule.

Consistency might be difficult, especially if you’re still heading into work and your schedule is all over the place, or you’re trying to work from home, or you’re trying to work from home and manage your kids’ schooling at the same time while also dealing with the crushing anxiety and stress of living through a global pandemic.

As with many things right now, be kind to yourself and your new running habit. A lot is going on. Running can help, but it shouldn’t be an additional stressor.

My mom called me in tears Tuesday because she said she didn’t feel safe running outside how people were crowding her local park. Stop making my mom cry! (We mapped out a route that’s not as pretty, but less crowded, and she’s running again, while also doing workouts indoors.)

When you run outside, keep six feet away from everyone else (except anyone you’ve been self-isolating with in your home). And no spitting! Let’s keep running outside an option for everyone.

How are you running through this? Let me know — I’m on @byjenamiller. New runners, send me your questions too. I’m here to help.

Run Well!

Jen A. Miller

Author, “Running: A Love Story”

Forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here.

  • Updated April 11, 2020
    • This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained. A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an American Enterprise Institute report, Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery: Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.
    • If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.
    • The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.
    • It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.
    • No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least 12 to 18 months away.
    • Un the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.
    • If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.
    • Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
    • That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.

“,”author”:”Jen A. Miller”,”date_published”:”2020-03-28T12:00:06.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/03/28/well/28well-run-nl/merlin_170810892_d12d9ed7-f14c-4e1f-bed0-9a0027796034-Jumbo.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/well/move/the-new-rules-of-running-now.html”,”domain”:”www.nytimes.com”,”excerpt”:”It’s difficult to balance the risks of exercising outside against the benefits.”,”word_count”:1324,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/well/move/the-new-rules-of-running-now.html

9 Great Things About Running Outside

Why You Should Run Outside
by Kevin Gray

September 20, 2018

If you’re running for exercise, then you’re doing something right. Because whether your preferred method of putting one foot in front of the other involves verdant forests or a treadmill with a built-in TV, running is a great way to stay fit. That said, there are some compelling reasons to make your next jog an al fresco affair.

Here are nine great things about running outside, from the health benefits to the fact it’s basically free.

According to a study by the University of Exeter: “Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy.” Study participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction after outdoor exercise than after indoor activities.

Running over undulations in the road, hopping over curbs and fighting the wind are all things that only happen outdoors. And each one requires an extra dose of effort, which translates to burning more calories over the course of a run. That’s why research suggests putting your treadmill on a 1%-incline to better simulate outdoor running.

Trees, parks, dogs and architecture make for more interesting viewing than the row of other runners in front of you at the gym. Besides, a University of Michigan study found that being in nature improves your memory and attention span.

Running on a flat, moving treadmill doesn’t require as much effort, nor does it directly simulate nature’s changing terrain. Running on actual ground requires more hamstring and glute activation to propel your body forward, and you might be forced to deal with the occasional hill. Studies also show outdoor running increases leg strength and ankle flexibility more than treadmill running.

Unless you’ve entered some strange treadmill race in which all participants compete side-by-side hamsters, your next 10K or marathon is probably happening outdoors. Running outside better prepares you for race day and all the uneven surfaces, impromptu storms and temperature fluctuations that come with it.

New in town? On vacation? Got a couple hours to kill before an out-of-town work meeting? Those are all good reasons to go for a jog. Not only will you get some healthy exercise, but you can also explore your surroundings, learn the streets and identify which café to visit afterward for a well-deserved lunch.

Sunlight is the human body’s favorite source of vitamin D, yet according to Nutrition Research, more than 41% of Americans are deficient. This can lead to a host of health problems, from fatigue and a weakened immune system to poor bone density and depression. Run outdoors, and you’ll get more vitamin D.

Head outside and, chances are, you’ll stay out there for awhile. That’s per a study that showed people who exercise outside tend to exercise for longer periods of time and more often than those who exercise indoors. Maybe it’s because the environment is more distracting — in a good way. Or because you can’t just hit “stop” you can on a treadmill; you still have to run home.

No gym near your house or hotel? No problem. You don’t need to be a member at a fancy studio to run; you don’t even need a gym membership. You just need a pair of shoes, something to wear and nature, which makes running an economical exercise choice. Just hit the nearest trail — or road or sidewalk — and you can go for a run.

Source: https://blog.mapmyrun.com/9-great-things-about-running-outside/

All the Ways Running Outside Beats the Treadmill

Why You Should Run Outside

The treadmill is often an unavoidable entity, especially in the dead of winter.

(It's why we created our 30-Day Treadmill Challenge!) But as the weather warms up and running on your gym or home treadmill becomes less of a necessity, there are some clear benefits to taking your running workout outside, from stronger glutes to a happier heart.

We combed through the studies and polled top experts to bring you all the ways running alfresco trumps running on the tread. (Psst: If you're brand-new to running, check out our beginner's guide to get started.)

You'll build more muscle

Unless you're running on a self-powered treadmill the WOODWAY Curve, outdoor running tends to be a slightly better butt-strengthener. That's because every time your foot lands in front of you on a typical treadmill, the belt brings your leg back underneath you-an action your glutes should ideally be in charge of, explains Pamela Geisel, M.S., C.S.C.

S., a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the Hospital for Special Surgery's James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Sports Performance. And, by running on hills outdoors (which yes, you can also simulate on the treadmill) you'll up the workload not just on your glutes, but all throughout your legs as well as in your core.

You'll burn more calories

Running outside tends to require more energy than running on a tread. “Outdoors, you are changing surfaces constantly, fighting the wind, and making quick and sudden starts and stops, which all lead to increased caloric burn,” says physical therapist Michael Silverman, director of rehabilitation and wellness at Northern Westchester Hospital.

In fact, to burn as many calories on the treadmill as you would outside, you need to run at a 1 percent incline, according to research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

And while we don't recommend running in extreme temps (heatstroke and frostbite can happen to even the most experienced runners!) it is worth noting that your body burns extra calories to regulate your body temperature, he says.

You'll cut your injury risk long-term

While the softer surface provided by a treadmill does result in less impact on your bones and connective tissues, this isn't entirely a good thing, experts say.

Theoretically, it could result in a lower injury risk (especially if you have less-than-perfect running form), but less impact also means that running won't stimulate quite as much bone growth, which, over time, could also result in injury, Geisel says.

(Fun fact: It takes about 1/10 the force required to break a bone to trigger bone formation and growth.) Not to mention, if you have less-than-perfect running form and end up hovering too close to the console or holding on to the rails, you can also set yourself up injury, he says.

(Disclaimer: Of course, it's also important to consider what's going on outside your window when considering the risk of outdoor running.

Rocky terrain, ice, snow, and rain can all increase the risk of slips, sprains, and falls, Silverman says. When running in the still-wintry weather, consider fixing cleats Yaktrax Pro or Petzl Spiky Plus to your shoes.

More on that here: How to Prevent the Most Common Running Injuries)

You'll be better prepared for your race

When it comes to actually training for a race, this is yet another way that running outdoors trumps the treadmill.

“You want to practice and prepare your body for what it is going to face on race day,” Geisel says. And unless you're participating in an indoor triathlon, that means you need to head outside.

Ideally, you should run part, if not all, of your race's course during training, Silverman says.

You'll have more energy

There's no contest here. Research from the University of Exeter in the U.K. shows that when people run outdoors, they enjoy a significantly greater energy boost and drop in tension, anger, and depression compared to when they run indoors.

“When you run outside, there are typically changes in scenery, changes in direction, and a sense of exploration. You lose that when you take it indoors and complete your workout by running in place,” Geisel says.

You'll improve your heart health

As long as you're running at the same level of exertion (think: that 1 percent incline), your heart stands to get just as much your running workout, whether you're inside or out.

But the added mood boost that you get from running outside (plus the vitamin D!) can actually improve your heart health over the long term, says Regina Druz, M.D., F.A.C.C.

, a cardiologist with the Integrative Cardiology Center of Long Island.

Source: https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/benefits-running-outside-vs-treadmill

Why You Should Be Running Outside

Why You Should Run Outside

“They don’t call the treadmill the ‘dread-mill’ for nothing,” says Lisa Reichmann, a running coach for Run Farther & Faster.

With the warmer weather, people are breaking a monotonous routine of running on a conveyor belt and making the switch to outdoor running. However, this transition can be discouraging for some. When you first start running outside, your pace can slow down, you may get tired faster, and you can push yourself too hard, ending up with an injury.

To make the switch easier, Run Farther & Faster coaches Reichmann and Julie Sapper tell runners to run for time, not miles.

“Do no more than 20 to 40 minutes on your first few outings,” Sapper says. “If you’re not used to outdoor running, start off slow with a running and walking combination and gradually build up from there.”

Reichmann emphasizes running at a conversational pace: “If you can’t talk comfortably and get breath when you’re running, you’re going too fast.”

Lisa Reichmann (left) and Julie Sapper (right), coaches and cofounders of Run Farther & Faster. Photograph courtesy of Julie Sapper, Run Farther & Faster.

To moderate your pace, Reichmann and Sapper suggest running with a friend. “Not only will you be able to tell when you’re going too fast,” Sapper says, “but you won’t be hyper-focused on the time or how many miles you’re running.”

Reichmann and Sapper also listed off five ways outdoor running is a healthier alternative to running on a treadmill:

Running outside is more realistic.

Races tend to be outdoors, regardless of the weather, so Reichmann and Sapper believe that outdoor running can better prepare you for unexpected obstacles.

“If you’re not used to running up hills, rain, or even a trail,” Sapper says, “then it can make races a lot harder on you. Running on a treadmill can’t prepare you for those race day surprises.”

Braving the elements can boost your confidence.

“Unless it’s not safe outside— it’s icy, too cold, or it’s dark—then I actually encourage people to get outside in less-than-ideal weather,” Rechimann says.

Going for a run outside when it’s raining or beginning to flurry may not seem fun, but it can actually boost your morale.

“If I know I can run through the rain or snow, then know I can do anything I set my mind to,” Sapper explains. “It’s the no excuse sort of attitude than can keep you going.”

You’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D.

If you don’t get around 15 minutes of sun exposure each day, chances are, you might not be getting enough vitamin D. Even on a cloudy day, you can boost your vitamin D levels with a 15-minute run or walk outside.

It’s a good way to get some strength training in.

“You can get a great leg and core workout from running outside,” Reichmann says. “Because a treadmill is a flat surface, you don’t give your muscles a variety of ways to work. But when you’re running on different inclines, your legs and core need to work harder to keep your balance and pace.”

If you’re stuck inside and have to run on the treadmill, Reichmann and Sapper suggest gradually changing the incline settings on your treadmill.

“If you run at a zero percent incline all the time, increase it to one percent for a few minutes, and then bring it back down,” Sapper says.

“Sometimes people think they can do a high incline on the treadmill, but you can hurt yourself if you don’t take it slow.”

Outdoor running is prime thinking time.

“Running is very peaceful for me,” Sapper says, who began running during law school as a way to relieve stress. “I can think and relax. I tend to come up with some of my best ideas when I’m out for a run.”

Source: https://www.washingtonian.com/2015/03/16/why-you-should-be-running-outside/