Running on a Treadmill vs Running Outside

Should I run Outside or on a Treadmill? According to a study, there are pros & cons associated. But what is healthy? Running Outside or Running on a Treadmill?

Running on a Treadmill vs Running Outside
Running on a Treadmill vs Running Outside

"What is better? Running on a Treadmill or Running Outside?" this is a dilemma faced by millions of people who step out of there houses with there Earphones on for running in a nearby park, or to a nearby Gym in their locality. Running is considered a complete fitness workout, as it flexes all the muscles of the legs, hands & the brain.

A Recent Study shows that there are chances of internal injuries in both the Cases, here we find out the Pros & Cons of Running on a Treadmill vs Running outside.

Treadmill Running

running on a treadmill

When running on a treadmill, everything around you is controlled. You’re in a temperature-controlled environment, the speed is the same and the incline is unchanging. Because of this, you won’t trip over a curb or slip on a slick surface. 

But, the treadmill leaves you more susceptible to overuse injuries. Because there is no variance in speed and incline, certain muscles and tendons will be impacted and stressed more than others. Repeating the same movement, step after step, puts your joints at risk. 

Outdoor Running

running outside

Running outside provides more variety. Each step you take is going to be different because of obstacles, changing slopes and uneven surfaces. This factor has been found to strengthen key areas of muscles and ligaments.

However, it’s more likely that you’ll slip on a wet surface or trip on a curb, which can result in a twisted knee/ankle or broken bone. Besides, the risk of knee ligament wear and tear is much greater for those who run on pavement since there is very little “give” to the ground. 

Here also check How to overcome running fatigue

Which Should I Choose?

  1. It can get boring running on a treadmill. Staring at a wall while running on a treadmill can get monotonous. Running outside is refreshing as you get a stimulus from the scenery around you. You get to breathe fresh air and you can change your route if you get bored.
  2. Technically the treadmill does the running for you. It generates momentum for you to run. When you are running outside you generate the momentum. Your brain pushes your body forward not the treadmill.
  3. The treadmill has a soft, predictable and flat surface unlike the uneven rugged surface of outside terrain. Because of this, the muscles aren't taxed on a treadmill as much as they are when running outside. When you are running outside more muscles are recruited to stop you from falling on the bumps on the road. You have to constantly balance on the uneven surface of the road unlike the even surface of a treadmill and therefore use more muscles.
  4. You will also have to encounter wind resistance when running outside, this means you will burn more calories running 1 km outside than on a treadmill. You can increase the incline on a treadmill by 1% to give the effect of wind resistance.

Treadmills are useful when the weather outside is not good and conducive for running or if you are living in a city and there is no place to run or it is too dangerous to run due to heavy traffic.