A Dose of Adventure

Research continues to demonstrate the preventive and therapeutic effects of natural adventure, and we couldn’t agree more.


As children we climbed trees, ran for miles and thought nothing of jumping from (relatively) great heights. It seems we were on to a good thing. A Swiss meta-study recently published in the Sports Medicine Journal confirms that adventurous physical activity is not just good for your body, but also powers up your mind and increases confidence and happiness.


Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you take up bungee jumping or go downhill skiing anytime soon. You could definitely reap the same benefits by simply swapping the pavement for a trail run.


Di Westaway, Adventure Health Expert and CEO at Wild Women On Top – an organisation with a mission to empower women through outdoor adventures – says, “unfortunately most people think of adventure as a risky or dangerous activity and dismiss it as something for radical thrill seekers. But adventurous physical activities like hiking or kayaking are really good for us. You don’t have to risk your life to experience a whole host of physical and mental benefits.”


According to the study, adventure encourages positive thoughts and helps you overcome boredom and fear, and introduces exhilaration. Recall the runner’s high you get from your regular runs – now, imagine that feeling amplified exponentially from being physically active in nature.


“With one in five of us set to suffer from a mental health issue at some stage of our lives, there is some urgency to look at promoting mental wellbeing. An easy and often free way to bolster your reserve against the nerves or the blues is a good dose of nature tonic,” says Dr Robert Grenfell, Health Director from the CSIROIf you’re a complete newbie to trail running, we suggest starting small. Seek out shorter, well-marked routes nearby to get a feel for it. Once you’re ready for longer adventures, plan them well (it’s half the fun!). Be sure to fuel up and hydrate properly, or carry enough fuel with you. Tell someone where you’re going or carry a mobile, or alternatively, you could share the experience and run with a friend.


Trail running events used to be daunting for beginners, with most distances near the marathon or even ultramarathon mark. However, the sport’s spike in popularity has resulted in an increase of more inclusive distances. All the better, we say.


Below is a selection of trail events  of various distances  around Australia for you to consider:


Hoka One One Trail Running series, VIC

Oxfam Trailwalker

Run Larapinta, NT

Running Wild NSW series, NSW

SEQ Trail Running Series, QLD

Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Runs, ACT

Tassie Trail Fest, TAS

Trail Running SA series, SA

Two Bays Trail Run, VIC





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