How a simple change can make a big difference.
If you want to run regularly & improve in the process, you need to make it interesting. Every once in a while, changing things up not only has the most obvious benefit of a change of scenery, but can also help in a host of other ways. So let's explore some of these.
- Alters Intensity: Different routes can offer different challenges. For example, a steep route might help you burn more calories while a flat route might make you run for longer. Depending upon what your aim for that day's run is, you may choose the path you like. Suppose you have a goal of losing some weight in a given period, you may want to gradually increase the intensity to achieve your goal. Changing your route will help you do the same. However, you should know your limits. Don’t overdo the intense route or you may end up getting injured.
- Satiates your wants: Each time, you may want something different from your morning run. If you have had a very hectic week and want peace and quiet, you would prefer taking the more secluded route. If you want to be challenged by fellow runners, you may take the more common route. You may want to fuel your creativity and need a route filled with nature’s bounty. This will make you choose a forested area for your run. Each route has something unique to offer.
- Keeps you motivated: Remember, running is not a one-day affair. It will show benefits only if you continue for a certain period. To reap these benefits, you should belt the monotony. Running the same route might make you lose interest. Changing the routes brings out the explorer in you. It makes running an enriching experience, something you look forward to. Imagine eating the same food every day. After a while, you will stop getting any utility out of it. Even the Theory of Economics says so. So don't let yourself reach that breaking point. Give your exercise a dose of variety.
- Monotonous practice is not good: We have all heard the phrase, 'Practice makes a man perfect.' But in running, how you practice matters. Running the same route makes you highly proficient in it. You can cover it faster and with every repetition, do it better. However, over time, you will burn lesser calories. Choosing an unfamiliar path will make your mind work with your body. Unfamiliarity will make it difficult to run the same distance, it will help your mind train for handling different routes & different locations. This prepares you for unforeseen circumstances, both physically and mentally.
- Seasonality: This is more of an unavoidable change. During winter, some routes might become highly inaccessible due to snow. In summers some routes which lack a tree-cover might make it too hot to run. Therefore, seasonality brings an involuntary change in the running route.
So now you know why changing your running route is beneficial for you. It is not just about an aesthetic change. It is also about gaining more out of your exercise. Making it more challenging, upgrading your exercise goal & making it more interesting and long-lasting. Try something new, it will never fail to amaze you.