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Is running on a treadmill or outside the better option?

von Ruby Choi 12 Dec 2023 0 Kommentare

Running is a popular sport with a big fan base. One topic that always sparks debate among running enthusiasts is whether it's better to run on a treadmill or outside.

Both outdoor and treadmill running have their passionate supporters, each with their own reasons for their preference. Some runners don't like running on treadmills because it's boring, but others enjoy the controlled and predictable indoor environment.

Both treadmill running and outdoor running have their own benefits, so it's really just about finding what works best for you. In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one is right for you.

Treadmill Running


Controlled Environment:

Treadmill running is great because you can easily change the incline, speed, and how long you run for. This makes it a good choice for people just starting out or who are getting over an injury.

Weather Independence:

Treadmills provide a consistent running surface no matter the weather. They are often indoors, so you can use them day or night and regardless of the climate. This makes running more convenient for those who prefer to exercise at night or live in areas with unpredictable weather.

Cushioned Surface:

Treadmills absorb shock, reducing joint impact and lowering injury risk compared to running on pavement. Running on hard surfaces like sidewalks and roads doesn't provide the same cushioning and can increase the risk of injury.

This is especially helpful for people recovering from an injury, as it allows them to progress at a slower pace in a more controlled environment. Returning from an ankle injury can be risky when running outside because of uneven surfaces and slippery sidewalks.


Monotony: The repetitive nature of running on a treadmill can get boring for many people, which can make it harder for them to stick to a regular running routine. Treadmill running is less exciting than outdoor running. This is because you stay in one place, which can become boring for some people.

Treadmills lack varied terrain, so they don't have slopes, declines, or uneven surfaces that engage different muscles.


Running on a treadmill can be expensive. If you want to use a treadmill at the gym, you might have to pay a monthly fee of $10 or more. Or, if you decide to buy your own treadmill, it could cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Outdoor Running



Outdoor running is more fun than using a treadmill. The different views and fresh air make it more enjoyable. It's more challenging to run on uneven ground, but that just adds to the adventure.

There are also more options for where to run outside, so it's more exciting. All of these things can make a person more motivated to keep running.

More Well-rounded Running:

Running outside is great because it gives you a change of scenery and offers different challenges than running indoors. When you have to navigate around other people, jump over puddles, or run uphill, it works different muscles and helps improve your balance and coordination. These varied challenges can make your overall fitness better and make running outdoors more fun.

Cost: Running outside is a cheap way to work out because you don't need a gym membership or expensive equipment. You might need to buy some running shoes and clothes, but it's still pretty cheap compared to other types of exercise. This means that anyone can go for a run, no matter how much money they have.


Weather Challenges:

Running outdoors can be challenging when the weather is very hot, cold, rainy, or snowy. It's best to run in dry, moderately warm conditions. However, with the right clothes, training, and preparation, you can still run in different weather. But be careful when it's very hot or cold - you could get dehydrated.

Night Running: Running at night is dangerous and increases the chances of getting hurt. If you decide to run at night, make sure to wear reflective clothing and a headlamp to help you see.

Inconsistent Terrain: Diverse terrain has its benefits, but it can also increase the risk of ankle sprains and other injuries for people who are not used to walking on uneven surfaces.

Which is Better for Weight Loss?

A study found that running on a treadmill or outdoors can help you lose weight. The intensity of the workout matters more than the location. The most important thing is to choose a type of running that you can stick to.

There are two types of running that can help with weight loss.

First, there is steady-state running, which means running at the same continuous pace for a certain amount of time. This can be done at a low to moderate intensity.

The second type is HIIT, which includes brief intense exercise followed by rest periods. For example, you might sprint for 30–90 seconds and then walk or jog for the same amount of time.

You can run on a treadmill or outside, but start slow and increase intensity gradually to prevent injury.

In addition to this, you can use a heart rate monitor for better weight loss results.

It helps you maintain a specific heart rate zone. This zone is referred to as the "fat-burning zone." In this zone, more calories burned come from fat. The heart rate zone includes Low Intensity, specifically Zone 1 and 2.

Heart Rate Science | Pink Gym - A Sisterhood of Strong Ladies!

For an in-depth look at heart rate zones, check out this article:



Individual Preferences:

When it comes to choosing between a treadmill and running outside, it really depends on what you prefer. Some people like the consistent pace of a treadmill, while others enjoy the variety of scenery that comes with outdoor running.

Health and Fitness Goals:

If you're getting ready for a race, outdoor running can help you prepare for the real race conditions. If you're recovering from an injury or want to have more controlled workouts, using a treadmill might be a better option.

Variability in Routine:

To get the most out of your running, it's a good idea to mix things up. Try running both indoor and outside, and add in some hills or sprints. You can also do some strength training to keep things interesting and improve your overall fitness.

The most important thing is to find the type of running that you enjoy and will keep doing in the long run. Happy running!

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