Trail Running For Your Health

Trail running is on the rise. Whether it’s the beautiful scenery, fresh air or the numerous physical health benefits, people are opting to head outdoors and run some dirt. We are fortunate here in Clark County to have an abundance of trails within close proximity of the city including Lacamas Lake & Round Lake Trail, Battle Ground Lake, Moulton Falls trail, Lewis River Park Trail, and Whipple Creek…the options are endless including amazing Forest Park in Portland!

Trail Running provides incredible health benefits.

Here are some of the positive outcomes of running on dirt:

Less Impact

Running on dirt is softer on your joints compared to pounding the pavement. 

Varied Terrain

Running on uneven terrain and having to vary your running stride to jump over rocks, branches and roots, positively impacts your agility, balance and spatial awareness. 

Enjoy Stunning Scenery

Getting out of the city and into the forest will enable you to enjoy lakes, rivers, waterfalls, trees, animals and so much more. There is so much beauty in our area to explore. 

Improves Muscle Strength

When you run trails, you are typically going to encounter some hills and experience some significant elevation gain which will develop your leg strength and lower body conditioning. 

Less Boredom

Since you must stay focused on the terrain and where you are stepping, the time seems to pass quicker. Plus, the beautiful scenery keeps your mind off the challenge of the run. 

Fresh Air

Getting outdoors always you to breath in fresh air which is so much better for you than breathing recirculated air. 

Boost Your Vitamin D

Even though you may be sheltered in the trees, you’ll still experience some exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D production which is important to our overall health and functioning and can help you sleep better, improve your immunity and increase endorphins.

Burn More Calories and Provide More Physiological Benefits

Running on a trail is more challenging than the flat pavement. When you have to deal with different terrain and elevation, your body is going to have to work harder!

Improve Your Mental Health

Outdoor exercise is associated with increased energy as well as decreased anger and depression.  

Increase Your Consistency

Outdoor exercisers reported enjoying their workouts more and said they were more likely to repeat the workouts.

There’s nothing like fresh air and beautiful terrain to boost your energy and your immune system. Many people are nervous about trying Trail Running on their own so Jessica Mossman, local running coach, is organizing a FREE Intro to Trail Running 5K and 10K this Tuesday June 29th at 6pm at Whipple Creek. Here are the details. Call 360.574.7292 to sign-up. 

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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