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Treadmill Vs Running Outdoors

Treadmill Vs Running Outdoors

Amy Salant

Cardio is always an important aspect of overall fitness and reaching any health goals. One of the big questions with cardio is figuring out which kind of cardio is better; treadmill or outdoor running. The fact of the matter is that there really is no clear cut answer as to which is better. Each runner is different and each method has its own benefits to working out.

Many people think that both methods are completely different and that treadmill running does not capture the same effect of running outside. However, research has shown that setting the treadmill to a 1% incline simulates running outdoors and gives you the same results. With both methods you are burning calories, yet most people prefer one over the other. The one method people prefer is running outside for a number of reasons.

  • Treadmills are boring.

  • No challenge on a treadmill.

  • Not motivating.

  • You can't explore.

Now these reasons may have some truth, it doesn't mean you should abandon the treadmill all together. Running outside does feel great and you do tend to burn a few more calories more than on the treadmill. However, there are some limitations to running outside which make the treadmill a good option.

  • Weather conditions.  

  • Personal safety.

  • Road conditions that can harm joints in the feet.

  • Difficult terrain.

When these limitations come around, running on the treadmill can help you get in a good cardio workout. Treadmills have softer surfaces that won't hurt your joints, there is no perilous path that could put you in danger, don't have to worry about the weather, etc.

When it comes down to it, there really is no major differences between the two methods to get in a good cardio. Most of it is on preference as well as if there are any setbacks. Both methods do work hand in hand as they provide the cardio workout you look for if one method is not feasible at the moment.