Posted by Pall Catt in Inspiration on September 16, 2018
Guest contributor Jennifer Dawson touches on some of the more abstract benefits of running in this piece.
Running through a natural environment can have a variety of benefits for you. Natural environments can improve mood and promote healing. Our improved mood can increase our endurance and mental willpower, allowing us to run longer. And seeing a specific ecosystem as we pass by can also show us how a single factor can apply across many lifeforms, regardless of genetics or species, showing that we and nature are one in a larger and spiritual sense.
Running in a natural environment can improve your runtime
Studies show that people have a tendency to feel more relieved of stress and anxiety when they’re able to spend an extended period of time in nature. When you run, consider running in parks or areas where the noise of urban areas is replaced by bird noises and more natural environments. Physiological healing has also been linked to time spent outside, so you may feel like you’ve recovered quicker if you run in a natural environment often, as well.
It improves focus and reduces mental stress
There’s no doubt that many people find running a mentally rigorous activity that requires focus. But people who run in natural settings have a tendency to feel more relaxed, which can allow them to run for longer durations without perceiving fatigue. Part of this is because we tie nature to adventure and fun mentally, and being able to run through it gives us a sense of fulfilment while allowing our sense of imagination and spirituality to run rampant without causing harm. Moreover, it gives a sense of healing, which can benefit your health.
You can see how everything in nature is interconnected
There’s something to be said about the scientific study of nature, and its relationship with spirituality. When biologists study fossils from the same area, they often find similar genetic markers in humans, animals, and even flora from the same area. That’s because forests and natural environments leave an indelible mark on everything living there, a sign of how they are all interconnected. When you run through a forest and spot different wildlife, birds, and so on you can get a hyperbolic sense of this first hand.
Choosing a natural setting to run in can give you a unique perspective on spirituality. As you see much different flora and fauna intermingling, different and yet interconnected, it can help bridge the gap between physical exertion and mental relief. This may be one of the reasons that spending regular time in nature can promote mental wellness and decrease our sense of fatigue. It may also be why nature can improve our endurance, and promote healing and physical wellness.