Trail Running for Weight Loss

Trail Running for Weight Loss

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

It’s the time of year where many people are looking for ways to shed some pounds before summer arrives. Some decide to sign up for a marathon, while others might go on a diet or try new exercise routines.

Is trail running for weight loss worth it? Yes is another option that can be very beneficial for weight loss. Read this blog post for tips and techniques on how you can use trail running as your means of losing weight!

What Is Trail Running, and How Does It Help With Weight Loss?

Trail running is a type of running that takes place off the beaten path, often in forests or other natural areas. Compared to road running, trail running tends to be more challenging because of the uneven terrain and obstacles you might encounter. Because trail running can be more complex, it burns more calories – making it an excellent choice for weight loss.

Trail running can provide a great workout that is both challenging and rewarding. You’ll work more muscles as you navigate hills and other obstacles than running on the road. Plus, the cardiovascular stimulus is similar to what you might get from a more intense fartlek workout.

Have you ever been curious about the calories burned while on your next outdoor adventure? This helpful infographic from Cool of the Wild will help! They rounded up 18 popular activities and calculated how many calories each would burn in an hour.

outdoor calorie infographic scaled

Trail running will take your fitness and athletic performance to the next level. This is because it offers quick results while still fun, making trail runs worth checking out for anyone looking to get in shape or stay healthy! And as a bonus, the scenery is usually pretty amazing!

Trail running is the perfect way to torch more calories and lose weight. Unlike running on a treadmill or pavement, trail running involves a lot of changes in terrain, which work your body harder. The hills will require more effort than running on flat ground, and you’ll also encounter smaller undulations and obstacles that your body needs to accommodate. 

Strengthen Your Body

Hills help activates strong quad muscles, glutes, and calves. Road running also works several muscles, but stabilizer muscles are often not used. Running downhills helps build muscles in our quadriceps. Your quads muscles serve a purpose as the brakes to prevent you from spiraling too far down the hills. 

Your glutes help provide stability, and they are recruited to work along the technical trails that need strength. Each step begins with a muscle in the feet and heads towards a muscle in the back legs. The ligaments and tendons around the ankle and knee get stronger, which means you’re less likely to get injured.

Build Your Cardiovascular System

The heart needs boosting with all these hill changes. Short burst activity that follows lower intensity may gradually increase your health in an aerobic environment. This can result in an improvement in endurance for longer running periods at more rapid speeds. Running in a forest or natural area can improve cardiovascular activity and respiratory function.

Motivation With Trail Running

Trailrunning makes your training enjoyable rather than running on a treadmill. Breathing clean air helps you to relax. Observing natural light promotes higher levels of serotonin production; these changes affect a person’s mood, and the body’s rhythm is controlled. 

Vitamin d levels improve muscle tissue and bone health. These results make preparing for longer workouts perfect. Trails allow runners to get in the fresh air away from cluttered gyms. 

Trail Running in All Weather Conditions

You will have to be prepared for all types of weather while trail running. In a hot, humid climate, you can quickly become dehydrated, and in cold conditions, your body will lose heat faster. You might need different clothes or gear to help protect you from the changing environment that is Mother Nature.

Previous studies have shown that training at high temperatures can have several benefits for athletes, including increased blood plasma volume, reduced core temperature, reduced blood lactate, increased skeletal muscle force, and improved performance in cold temperatures.

When running in colder weather, your body will burn more calories to keep warm, aiding in weight loss. Additionally, research suggests that exposure to cold temperatures can help promote the growth of brown fat – a tissue that helps burn energy. After you’ve acclimatized and developed some brown fat, you’ll find it easier to tolerate colder temperatures.

Running in extreme weather conditions may also have mental benefits – such as fortifying your resolve.

Reduced Injury Rates With Trail Running

One common reason runners give for starting trail running is the reduced injury rates. Compared to road running, trails are less impactful on your body, and you’re also able to run more naturally with a forefoot or mid-foot strike. This helps reduce stress on the knees and ankles. Additionally, dirt surfaces create softer landings, which is especially beneficial if recovering from an injury.


Trail running is a great way to get your cardio and strengthen muscles. Not only does it allow for more balance than road running, but there are many benefits like reduced injury rates that come with hiking on trails! Most surfaces will absorb some of the energy from each step you take, meaning less wear-and-tear on joints while also allowing runners an opportunity at improved resilience due to making them stronger overall.

Trail running may be one of the best forms of exercise because not only can you burn calories, build muscle tissue, improve cardiovascular function, lose weight, runners often report feeling happier after trail runs as well! If you’re looking for new ways to stay motivated or want to start a new fitness routine, trail running may be the perfect answer for you.

Get outside and enjoy nature while you lose weight – you won’t regret it.

Joseph Peele