There are two camps in the running community: those who enjoy running outdoors and those who prefer running on a treadmill. Although it is often down to personal preference, there are many benefits to both.
Running on a treadmill or outside is a debate that has been around for a while. Running outside can increase stability because you have to maneuver through constantly changing terrain. A treadmill allows you to maintain speed and performance levels outdoors that may otherwise be lacking.
There is no one right answer to the debate about treadmill running vs. running outside. Each method has its pros and cons depending on your training goals. Both can be used in conjunction with each other.
Benefits of Running Outside
Running in the fresh air
An outside run can be a great way to get fresh air and clear your mind if you feel a bit stuck inside. It will benefit both your mental and physical well-being. Outside air is richer in oxygen, which can help boost your energy, lower your blood pressure, and clear your lungs. Vitamin D can be boosted by natural light, especially in winter, when crucial for maintaining bone and muscle health.
Explore new places and see new sights
Running outside can be a great way to explore new places, see interesting sights, and improve your fitness. It doesn’t matter where you are, and safety is the priority. You can run anywhere, whether you are on holiday, visiting relatives or exploring local areas. You might be surprised at the hidden treasures you may have overlooked if you take a different route to your daily run.
It is naturally challenging
You’ll encounter many different surfaces as you run outside. You’ll likely also have to run against the wind at times, adding a resistance element to your run. Your run will be more challenging and may push you outside your comfort zone. Your whole body will need to work harder to maintain stability, strengthening your core and ankles, as well as your legs. You should wear the right clothing and shoes for running and adjust your pace as needed.
It’s almost always interesting
Running outside is a great way to stay active. To enjoy new and exciting sights, you can mix them up by visiting a new destination or park.
Flexible and free
You don’t even need to bring anything to run outside. It’s a great way to keep fit and save money. You can find somewhere to run almost anywhere on the planet. This allows you to keep up your fitness regimen even when you’re away from home.
Benefits of Running on a Treadmill
You can run in all weather
You don’t have to stop exercising because it’s windy outside, or you risk becoming exhausted during a heatwave. With treadmill running, you can avoid all weather extremes and stay cool and comfortable. Although it is possible to run in the rain and wind, it does not make for the most enjoyable. You can run all year with a treadmill.
You can customize it to meet your specific needs
You can adjust the settings of the treadmill to make sure that you are pacing yourself well. For a more challenging workout, you can increase the incline. This is great for training for trail runs outdoors or just pushing yourself to do something different.
Gentler on your joints
The soft cushioning of a low-imapct treadmill allows for a more comfortable landing, which reduces the impact on your knees, hips, and ankles. It’s safest for those who are recovering from injuries or have issues with their joints. However, you should consult a qualified professional like a physiotherapist before you begin running on a treadmill.
Only one set of running gear is required
Your kit must adjust to the weather conditions. Will you be running on pavements or grass? Running on a treadmill requires only one pair of running shoes, your normal gym wear, and no waterproofs, ear covers, or high-vis vests.
There is less chance of injury
Running on the treadmill’s smooth surface allows you to avoid the dangers of running outside. Running outdoors can be dangerous because of potholes and traffic. Although the treadmill can’t guarantee injury-free running (be careful slowing down and stepping off), it can significantly reduce your risk.
Do You Run on a Treadmill or Outside?
There are many benefits to both types of exercise, but the best kind is the one that you love and can stick with. You can choose to run outside or on a treadmill. The best part is that you don’t have to stick with one. You can run outside in the evenings when it is sunny and warm. Then, you can go to the gym to use your treadmill during the winter months.