Walking and running seems like they should be the type of exercise that are rather obvious and that don’t require very much thought. But as our actual lives become less active and we need to start to make conscious choices in order to make sure that we remain fit (or get fit in the first place), it starts to become important to use our workout time to its very best level. This has divided people into two groups: those who believe in walking and running outdoors, and those who feel that the treadmill is better for them.
Each of those options has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the lists for each are very long. There are nearly limitless reasons that some people prefer staying in and running on a treadmill and just as many for heading out on the sidewalk, road, or track.
When you’re just getting started, this can make things very confusing. You want to make the right choice, but that decision isn’t exactly an easy one. If you’re currently in the middle of this struggle, check out some of the following things to consider when it comes to making your own choice between running on a treadmill or the outdoors.
When you are walking or running on a treadmill, you’ll be on a flat surface with some cushioning and traction (assuming that the belt has been properly maintained). Some will provide you with an incline to boost the challenge and the way that your muscles are being used, while others remain flat, presenting very little change in the way that the muscles are used.
On the other hand, running and walking outside gives your muscles greater variety and challenge because the terrain and slope are continually changing. Asphalt does have a little bit of give to it, but not much, and cement sidewalks can be jarring on the joints of the ankles, knees, and hips. You are also facing the elements when you head outside, so it might be hot, rainy, icy, or otherwise inclement.
For a better workout overall, outside is typically the choice, but for those with bad knees or joints, or who are facing bad weather, the treadmill offers a great alternative. Try to aim for one with a changing incline. Many people actually choose both options. When it’s beautiful outside, they’ll head out to enjoy some fresh air. When it’s icy, far too hot, or when it’s dark out and there’s a safety issue, the treadmill can be just what you need to ensure that you can keep up your favorite sport.