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How Effective Is Running on the Treadmill vs. Running Outside?

by On Feb 23, 2021

To run outside or inside?

How Effective Is Running on the Treadmill vs. Running Outside?

Did you know that running increases the levels of good cholesterol as well as improves the respiratory system? Well, regular physical activity has several benefits, especially when in the form of running.

Typically, hobby and passionate runners either go out for a run or use a treadmill. Both of these are popular methods of running. However, there persists a debate regarding which one is highly effective.

Experts have researched and debated for years without a satisfactory conclusion. And, so now, we have taken this matter into our hands to declare the winner ourselves! 

Continue reading to unravel our stance on this debate!

The Pros of Treadmill & Running Outside 

How Effective Is Running on the Treadmill vs. Running Outside?
Photo Credit: 123RF

Running on a treadmill comes with its respective set of benefits. You need not limit yourself to clothes or fear developing ankle problems. With a convenient machine like this, you can enjoy your fitness pursuit like never before.

To recount from scratch, perhaps the first and most noteworthy benefit of using a treadmill against running outside is its shock-absorbing capabilities. The cushioned surface absorbs shock better than pavements, and thus, induces less stress on ankles and joints.

Moreover, when on the treadmill, you can get done with about 2-3 other tasks, such as browsing through that site you couldn’t time for. You can listen to music, or perhaps, browse through a magazine.

What’s more, it keeps your fitness schedule independent. You need not depend on the weather to determine whether you can go for a run today or not. Being indoors, you can set up a schedule and run as per your convenience only.

When it comes to running outside, however, know that it comes with its respective benefits too. The varying terrain teaches much better lessons than the cushioned terrain. It assists in building up stamina. The accompanying challenges, build up a sporty spirit and allow us to cherish nature fully.

Weighing the Cons 

Treadmills may have great pros, but the cons should not get neglected either. As per CPSC reports, treadmills cause approximately 24,000-injuries every year in the United States.  These injuries include both short and long-term effects.

  • Short-term (sprains, falls, and head injuries)
  • Long-term (cardiovascular issues due to overwork) 

Besides, treadmills are stationary. You cannot go downhill or uphill. (These movements strengthen the muscles in your legs.) 

You cannot even take turns. And, honestly, running on one-stop for extensive periods can be boring.

Indeed, you can listen to music and podcasts. You can watch your much-loved shows and movies. But, how long until the entertainment turns into boredom? 

Well, in the case of running outdoors, you get to see different things each day.  And, let’s not forget those out-of-control cars, cyclists blinded by passion, and our feline friends waiting to pounce on any passer-by.  

Outdoors can be a challenge as well. Plus, the biggest danger concealed by the outdoors is the fatal teeny-tiny germ, the Coronavirus. While running, you won’t even know if you pass an area that contains a high proportion of COVID-19 particles in the air. It can be highly dangerous!

Exercise & the New Norm 

How Effective Is Running on the Treadmill vs. Running Outside?
Photo Credit: 123RF

Both running outside and the treadmill indeed have their benefits as well as limitations. However, the circumstances of the global pandemic 2020 have uplifted the position of treadmills.

Isolated and socially-distanced, the new norm recommends staying locked up in your houses. The more you are indoors, physically-distant from others, the safer you will be.  

Well, in quarantine, a majority of running enthusiasts have spent their time inside. They did not see the outdoors for weeks, if not months! 

In such a circumstance, where the outdoors was a red zone and people were working from home, the treadmills proved to be an efficient way to run. You can do all the required physical activity and stay fit without fearing interaction with the fatal virus. 

Well, the convenience and ease offered by the treadmills during the pandemic have opened up a new exercise and work desk dimension. Believe it or not, treadmills enable people to exercise in front of the work desk!

Verdict 

Up till now, we have evaluated both the pros and cons of each running practice. And, now, it’s time to declare which running practice is highly effective. The most effective running practice is the one and only treadmill! 

Treadmills keep securing from the worst danger; Coronavirus. Apart from this, the treadmill forms an excellent running practice for indoor and casual exercise. You should certainly go with treadmills! 

However, if you have to prepare for any event, then outdoor running will provide you the best training.

Is it better to run outside or on the treadmill?

Both running outside and the treadmill have their benefits as well as limitations. It is depending on your schedule and training on which you want to run.

What are the disadvantages of treadmill?

You cannot run on different terrain such as downhill or uphill. It can be quite boring in a long-term.

What are the disadvantages of running outside?

You will need to be alert of your surroundings as there will be cars, bikers and people on the road and around you.

Which is the most effective for running practise?

The most effective running practice is on treadmill. But, if you are preparing for a race event, then outdoor running will provide you the best training.

In these stressful and uncertain times, getting updated with accurate and useful information has never been so critical. No matter how unsettled the future feels, RunSociety will remain with you, delivering high quality news for free so we can all make critical decisions about our lives and health. Together we can overcome.

What we can do to help the situation is to keep our body and immune system in peak condition. If you are allowed or able to run outdoors, please do so cautiously but not panicky. Join our free online race to motivate you and pay tribute to our frontline heroes.

Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for running, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning London.

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