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THE NATURAL GYM

Turn the trails into your workout space, to boost your fitness and mix up your training sessions

With the warmer weather and longer days finally here, it’s the perfect time to turn your thoughts to the trails. As well as being better for your mental health (people who work out in natural spaces report better mental wellbeing in general), trail running is a brilliant way to boost your fitness and help keep injuries at bay, too. How? By running over uneven terrain, you constantly challenge your muscles, tendons and ligaments, in order to stay balanced and upright, in a way that cannot be recreated on either the roads or the treadmill. This both provides a tougher workout and also means each footfall is slightly different, reducing your chance of picking up an injury due to repetitive strain. What’s more, the softer trail surfaces (be it grass, dirt tracks or scree surfaces) are easier on your joints but tougher on your working muscles, again resulting in a great workout with a reduced injury risk.

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About Women’s Running

Find your inner joy with the August issue of Women’s Running, on sale now! We’ll tell you how to keep your running from becoming an obsession - and hear from one woman whose compulsion to run almost ruined her life (don’t worry – there’s a happy ending!). We’ve also spoken to experts to find out how you can run your way to inner happiness. Need a bit more inspiration to train? We’ll introduce you to three women who went from fitness-phobes to incredible runners, and we’ll also show you how to keep running throughout your whole life with our guide to age-proofing your body. Plus, we’ve got a guide to making the most of every session you run, tips on running a really fast half-marathon, and a four-minute workout for really busy runners. Quick - download your copy now!