You made a commitment this year and you said to yourself: “I’m going to run”, alone, with your partner or with your best friend. One of the most frequently asked questions about running has to do with where to practice it. Better an urban environment or a natural landscape, to go for a run?
The pros of going for a run in the city
On your New Year’s Goal List you wrote: Go for a run every day, or at least a few times a week. You have purchased the most suitable clothing, you have all the motivation possible focused on exercising .. but here comes a doubt: is it okay to go running in the city center?
Obvious: a lot of people go for a run in the park. You see those who run at the first light of the morning in the summer but also those who do it at noon in the winter and you think you want to do the same .. however, before starting, we advise you to pay attention to the characteristics of running in the city.
If you live in the city, being comfortable means simply dressing up and going for a run, without even having to have a park nearby.
2. Targeted training
You can avoid obstacles – such as people, puppies, cars and so on – and train by toning your legs and ankles.
3. Always different paths
You have the whole city at your disposal, so much so that you can vary the roads to take and the routes. This way you won’t get bored .. it will be more fun than running treadmills at the gym!
4. Say goodbye to stress
Maybe one of the reasons why you said to yourself “let’s go for a run” is because you are too stressed from work or daily problems. The good news is that running has the power to erase bad mood, anxiety, sadness or anger, as it helps the body produce so-called “happiness hormones”.
Disadvantages of running in the city
For sure, like everything in this life, urban running is neither pleasant nor 100% positive. Consequently, we must also consider the disadvantages of running around the city:
Even if you go to a park, that necessary “green lung”, you will find yourself in contact with the smog and smoke that surround you.
Crossing the street can be a real adventure when running around town. For this reason, we recommend not to choose particularly busy roads, especially if you like to train while listening to music or chatting with your “running partner”.
3. People everywhere
If you live in a big city, you will certainly know that it is not possible to be alone anywhere… let alone if you are on the move while exercising. Dodging people can be a nuisance while running, especially if space is tight.
4. Unreliable surfaces
In the city, there is no other option but to run on asphalt, a hard surface that can damage the joints of the ankles and knees. Alternatively, you can look for a place where running on the lawn or on the ground is allowed, although in many cities it is not allowed.
The advantages of going for a run in the countryside
Let’s now move on to the second option for running this season. Going for a run in the countryside obviously has its pros and cons. These are some of the points in favor:
1. Contact with nature
The first thing to underline of physical activity outdoors in a natural environment is that we find ourselves in deep contact with trees, plants, birds, rivers, mountains and all that this entails.
2. Soft surfaces and unevenness
To avoid injury to the heels, feet or knees, we recommend training on soft surfaces, such as a lawn or ground. Just what the countryside and its surroundings offer! Watch out for rocky areas, as you could get injured.
Some disadvantages of going for a run in the countryside
Obviously, as already done in the case of the city, we must also underline some “cons” of running in the countryside:
1. The distance
If your aim is to follow a weekly running workout in the countryside, you will need to travel to or relocate there, with all that that entails.
In fact, we don’t always have the campaign available to go to train whenever we want. Just waiting for the holidays or the weekend to go running is not a good idea, as it does not give us the minimum necessary frequency.
2. Lack of supplies
If we’re running into town and running out of water, we can go into a shop and buy it. The same thing if we get hurt or have an accident: in a few minutes the ambulance or a policeman will arrive to assist us. This does not happen in the countryside, as it is an isolated place far from the comforts and from any kind of help we might need.
In short, the question is not choosing between the city and the countryside to go for a run. You can enrich your workout and enjoy both views, depending on the time of year or day of the week.