Running on treadmill or running outside. Six of one and a half dozen of the other, some would argue. Others disagree and argue that there is a distinct difference in the health benefits you receive from each method of running. Some people prefer to run inside on a treadmill, so they are protected from nasty weather conditions. Others other enjoy running outside, for a healthy dose of vitamin D and fresh air. There are benefits to both methods, and there is an ongoing debate about which is the "best" way to obtain the health benefits of running.
There are several advantages to running on a treadmill. First, you have more control over your incline and your pace. Outside, you do not have any control over the topography of the land you are running on. Additionally, your pace is more controlled on a treadmill, because a treadmill moves at a constant, consistent speed, unless you change it. Outside, you may have a tendency to speed up or slow down unconsciously. Another advantage is that weather conditions are not a factor when you run inside. On a treadmill, you can run rain or shine, morning, noon or night . Treadmills provide more shock absorption and cushion than the hard pavement. This is of great benefit to runners who have joint problems. The shock absorption of a treadmill will also benefit runners, who wish to prevent joint problems, in the future. You can easily track the amount of calories you burn, the distance you run, and your heart rate on a treadmill. There are devices that will allow you to track these items while you run outside, but many think they are cumbersome and inconvenient, while you are running. A treadmill does not allow for excuses such as, "It's raining" or "I don't have a babysitter." Treadmills are especially beneficial to runners with small children. If you own a treadmill, you can run in your home, while your children play or engage in some other activity.
While there are numerous benefits to running on treadmill, there are also many advantages of running outside. Nothing can beat running in the fresh air. You definitely cannot do that on a treadmill. Secondly, combating the wind resistance and the terrain will cause you to burn more calories. Another advantage to running outside is the scenery. There is no doubt that there are more exciting things to look at when you run outside, versus looking at you wall while you run on a treadmill. Also, you use more of your own energy running outside, which provides for a better workout. Treadmills have a tendency to propel your body a little, while you are running. Lastly, running outside is free. You will not have a large piece of equipment to purchase and maintain, or a gym membership to pay for each month.
While there are advantages and disadvantages to running on a treadmill and running outside, you will reap great health benefits, despite which method of running you choose.