Next time you are traveling, here are a few simple reasons to pack a pair of running shoes as your mode of transportation.

What’s the best way to see the city? On the run, of course! While traveling is not new to me, traveling through the lens of running was something I discovered only five years ago. From my very first marathon in San Diego, running has taken me to new places and provided me with a built-in community I never imagined possible.

Most recently, I traveled to Detroit and co-curated a fitness event, Run Action Detroit, that combined running, yoga and social action. The event brought together a diverse group of people who share similar passions who I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to meet. Below are my top five reasons why running is the best way to see a city.

Provides Built-In Community

Especially when you’re traveling by yourself, running provides the perfect way for you to meet new people. Before I go anywhere, I spend time searching for running clubs/crews as well as local running stores and do my best to plan around getting a run in with a group.

Reduces With Jet Lag

Can’t fall asleep? Go for a run or sign up for a class at a local fitness studio. There’s no better way to get yourself tired than a tough workout.

Helps Relieve Anxiety

For many, myself included, being away from home can cause anxiety/stress. Going out for a run can provide you with a sense of comfort and relief as well as allow you to better situate yourself in an unfamiliar place.

Makes for A Great Photo Opp

I imagine myself one day running through the Great Wall of China and taking epic selfies along the way. #Goals

Allows You To Beat The Crowds

Not everyone is a morning runner, but if you are, you have the opportunity to beat the throngs of tourists headed to the same places you are. Schedule in a morning run that ends at a point of interest and you will have the luxury of visiting a place without a ton of people rushing you along.