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Running on a Treadmill Vs. Running Outside

Puja Lalwani
If you are one of those people who simply can't decide what's better, running on a treadmill or running outside, it's time you get an insight into the benefits of both. This story provides a comparison between the two.
The importance of fitness cannot be stressed enough. Some suggest that a simple, daily walk is good enough to keep you fit, while a lot of people resort to running and jogging to remain fit, burn calories, develop strength and stamina, and strengthen their muscles.
With all that it has to offer, the benefits of running cannot be overlooked. When it comes to running, a lot of people have their own views about doing so on a treadmill and running outside.
While some prefer the exercise equipment that allows you to enjoy exercise while watching your favorite program, others believe that the benefits of running outside cannot be matched by any exercise or fitness equipment. To give you an insight into this debate, presented here are the benefits of both, after which you may decide what suits you the most.

Benefits of Running Outside

Let's take a look at the benefits of running outside as against on a treadmill.
  • Studies have proven that it is always a better choice to opt for outdoor running. For one, when you run outside, you are exposed to different terrain.
  • ¬†You could run on a beach, a pavement, or you could run on grass, and these add to the muscular development and strengthening of the legs. This proves as a better option when compared to the smooth surface of a treadmill.
  • Moreover, when running outside, you face what is known as wind resistance. Trying to run against the wind makes you utilize more energy. Therefore, you end up burning more calories than what you would while running on a treadmill.
  • When you run outside, you expend all of your own energy in the effort of running. Whereas, while running on a treadmill, the moving belt propels you to run and thus, requires slightly less of your own energy.
Running outside allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, something that is missing when you are running on a treadmill indoors. You get fresh air, that rejuvenates the mind and body, and you can always resort to a newer route to break the monotony of the same path.

Benefits of Running on a Treadmill

As aforementioned, running on a treadmill and running outside, both have their pros and cons.
Let's take a look at the other side of the coin and all that it has to offer:

  • Though treadmills provide a smooth terrain for running, it is extremely suitable for those who are affected by, or are prone to muscle injuries. It provides a kind of cushioning to the feet that is not available while running outside.
  • Another case in point regarding the smooth belt of a treadmill is that it is more suitable for those who are obese or overweight, since it propels the body and allows them to slowly gain momentum. This allows them to get started on a workout suitably.
  • While you may develop more muscle when running outside, indoor running is also beneficial. By simply running on a slight incline, your lower body can get as much of a workout on a treadmill as it does outdoors.
  • Treadmills allow you to get your daily run irrespective of the weather conditions outside. If you are the kind who runs outside, with varied conditions, you may have to set aside your daily workout, and start all over when the weather conditions become more suitable for a workout.
Now that you know the pros and cons of running on a treadmill as well as running outside, it is for you to decide which one suits you better. The bottom line is that both options allow you to enjoy the benefits of running.
If you are running for the purpose of fitness, you may choose either a treadmill or outdoor running. However, if you are training for a marathon, it is always better to run outside and get used to the terrain and weather conditions.
Moreover, a treadmill is an expensive piece of fitness equipment, so unless you are planning on setting up a home gym, choosing to run outside may prove slightly cheaper. Take your pick and decide whether you would like to burn your calories on a smooth treadmill, or would like to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors by running outside.