Treadmill Running Versus Outdoor Running

Published by FitWatch

Treadmills are one of the most efficient ways of burning calories, but before getting one for their home gym, many people want to know whether there really is any advantage to treadmill running versus outdoor running. It seems like we can just go ahead and walk or run outside, so why spend the money on another piece of equipment? Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of treadmills over running outdoors to help you decide whether a treadmill is right for you. Disadvantages Of Treadmills Compared To Outdoor Running

1. Cost

This one doesn’t need any explanation. Even a used treadmill is going to cost you more than running around your local park. Although if you have to drive to your local park first, you do have the cost of gas and wear on your car.

2. Space in the home

If you have a large home this will not bother you, but if you live in a tiny apartment you may not have a lot of space for home gym equipment like a treadmill. Keep in mind though that you can get foldaway treadmills for easy storage.

3. Fresh air

Running outside gets you into the fresh air, so it’s likely to be better for your lungs than exercising indoors, even if you have all of the windows open. To get around this you could put your treadmill in the backyard in good weather.

Advantages Of Treadmills Compared to Running Outdoors

1. Weather

One of the greatest advantages of having a treadmill is that you can walk or run in any kind of weather. Rain, snow, ice, it doesn’t matter, and you can run through a heatwave too. In your heated and air conditioned home you can always exercise at the perfect temperature. Not only is this more comfortable, but it is more healthy too. Running on icy surfaces or in very high temperatures is risky for anyone. And let’s face it, it’s way more likely that you will keep to your exercise program if you don’t have to go out in the rain.

2. Convenience

If you have a treadmill you can use it whenever you have a free moment. You do not have to get to the park first. All adults in the family can use it too, and you may find that family members who would not normally take any exercise are motivated by having a well equipped home gym.

3. Personal safety

For women this can be a big issue, but men too can be at risk of muggings or other attacks when running in the park or on the street. Even in the best neighborhoods a circular route will usually take you through some dark or lonely places, and even though you probably try to be out when there are other runners, you will find yourself running alone sometimes.

4. Better shock absorption

Your treadmill will have a surface that is professionally designed for absorption of the shocks that running can give. Without this, your knees and hips can suffer a lot of damage from regular running. People who run on hard surfaces like a sidewalk can do more damage than good to their overall health in the long term. The alternative is to run on grass, but that can be slippery if there is mud or dew, or too hard in summer. Treadmills are a better option for your joints.

5. Measurable results

If you are running around outdoors you usually do not have any way to measure if you are achieving your goals and increasing your fitness. Sure, you may time yourself, but many factors can influence the time it takes you to complete your circuit, including the weather and traffic or walkers getting in your way. On a treadmill you have many ways to measure your progress including specially designed instruments.

6. Privacy

While some people love to strut their perfect physique around the park, for most of us there are advantages in not having the world watching us run! At home it doesn’t matter what you wear, whether you sweat or how much you weigh. Just lock the door and nobody is going to see.

All of this adds up to one vital point - having a home treadmill will make it easier for you to stick to your exercise program. Regularity is the most important thing to get the benefit of any exercise schedule, so you will not want to let the weather dictate when you can run. With a home treadmill you will be able to appreciate the advantages of treadmill running versus outdoor running for yourself.

You can visit your local sports store or

shop online for a treadmill .  Bowflex and Nautilus offer financing for their series of treadmills.

On the low end of the price scale, you have the

Bowflex 3 Series Treadmill, Bowflex 5 Series Treadmill, and Bowflex 7 Series Treadmill.  Over at Nautilus, on the lower end of the price scale is the Nautilus Sport Series T514 Treadmill.  The higher end?  Check out this baby (for runners—probably more treadmill than you need): 

Nautilus T7.18 Pro Series Treadmill.


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