There is something incredibly blissful about being outdoors. Where the sun shines and the wind blows, it is a lot easier to get swept up in the moment and enjoy yourself—especially when the alternative is a sweaty gym in an oversized warehouse. Exercise is a major component in any successful long-term weight loss program, but there are plenty of ways to get in that exercise without having to stay at the gym.
Heading out to the trails is a great way to maximize workout benefits while enjoying some fresh air. In Central Ohio, there are several trailheads around where you can enjoy a brisk walk or even a jog where you are surrounded by plenty of greenery and the fresh atmosphere of Mother Nature.
Here are a few places where you can take a hike in Central Ohio:
- The 4-C bicentennial trail in Wilmington
- The Alum Creek Greenway trail
- The Armleder park trail, just east of Cincinnati
- The Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail, just outside of Columbus
The reasons to check out trails like these actually go far beyond the mental benefits of being outdoors and getting a fresh change of scenery. Researchers out of the United Kingdom found that treadmill runners actually have to put their machines on at least a 1% gradient just to match the cost of exercising outdoors. Simply being up against the wind requires your body to use a bit more energy than mindlessly walking the treadmill. This doesn’t even take into account the agility training that comes with walking trails, where you have to constantly be aware of your surroundings.
Using your runs to explore trails can help you keep your workouts fresh and free of monotony, but it can also provide the mental boosts of spending quality time in nature. Studies have proven that exercising in the great outdoors can improve your concentration, boost your mood and even help you get more exercise. Also, keeping to the dirt and grass will make the exercise easier on your hips and knees.