The best answer for Running on a treadmill vs outside is anywhere where you can do it consistently, but yes you want to know what experts saying so keep reading it last and you’ll have a clear picture of the topic.
Your preference to choose between treadmill and outdoor running depends on your budget, environment, needs, and personal preferences. Either way, running is extremely beneficial for your health as it will give you many benefits, such as a lower risk of chronic diseases and improved mental health.
Running on a treadmill and running outside each have their pros and cons, whichever you choose will benefit you both physically and mentally. But one has to adopt the following significant considerations while choosing between the two.
While choosing the exercise routine using a treadmill or outdoors, it’s important to consider the best-suited method to run safely. It may be suggested to speak with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a chronic condition, such as heart disease. An aggressive running routine can lead to a heart attack or some more serious injury.
Furthermore, make sure of the enormous intake of calories, as studies have shown that extreme running may cause weaker bones or injuries, likely due to the lack of calories required for bone repair.
The incredible selection between running on a treadmill and running outside on a field track depends on what are the pros and cons of treadmill running and outdoor running. Obviously, there are pros and cons for each one.
PROS of Treadmill Running
High-quality treadmills are made to cushion the impact right which may provide ease to the legs as compared to the blacktop of the road.
The consistently controlled variables like temperature also counted as a significant advantage of indoor running.
The weather conditions sometimes are not permitting you to go for outside running, but you can still get a great workout with equivalent treadmill miles.
Treadmills are designed to provide the pace data like measurement of calories burnt, and minutes or speed required to achieve the target caloric burn output.
CONS of treadmill Running:
It might be surprising that some of the runners call it dread mill.
You can’t jump up and down curves as there’s no up and downhill and you are literally doing the exact same thing over and over again. Although, a one percent incline is going to tax you more and make it slightly more equivalent to outdoor miles it’s never the same.
If you are training for a race then it would be better to get a good workout outdoors as it’s not only better for your lower legs but also you are teaching yourself to run through different conditions such as temperature, precipitation, and whatever mother nature throws at you, you can easily tackle it.
The watch on the treadmill with the clock goes slower than real-time and you’re watching every hundredth of a mile, and it’s very monotonous and super boring.
PROS of Outdoor Running:
Having that visual stimulation while running outside on the field could be really good and a good distraction.
Outdoor running will let you explore nature and its beautiful sights revealing the fresh impact on your mental health. Studies have also shown that outdoor running is good for lowering stress and blood pressure plus the advantage of exposure to sunshine will get you vitamin D.
One of the physiological benefits of running outdoors is that it may tax you more as you know the musculature of the foot. The lower leg works harder outdoors than it does on a treadmill because you don’t have to grip the ground and push it behind you like you do when you’re running outdoors.
Another benefit of outdoor running is you are going to use stabilizer muscles differently. In an outdoor run, one can constantly be tested its muscles by cambering on a trail, turning here or there up and down gradients.
Outdoor running is more game realistic, as you can constantly change the directions, shuffling back pleading instead of running on a moving belt in a straight line.
CONS of Outdoor Running:
You can’t choose outdoor running when it’s snowing outside or extreme weather conditions like lightning, hail storming, or wet or icy roads, and you physically cannot run without keeping your body in danger.
Outdoor running is more prone to injuries if one has chosen it without proper form and stretching.
Also, the humidity factor in the air can be hard on your lungs.
Difference Between Running on a Treadmill or Outside on the field:
According to one review published in Sports Medicine, where scientists from Australia gather data from 34 different scientific studies concludes three different key measures of comparisons.
How hard the runner’s body worked while completing the workout was measured through blood lactate levels of their heart rate and vo2 max number.
How hard the workout felt to the runner.
How actually the runners performed in their time trials.
They found that when the runners run at a faster speed they exhibit a higher level of perceived exertion on the treadmill versus at the same exact speed outside running.
On the other hand, when the runner made at a slower pace and exhibits a lower level of perceived exertion on the treadmill, the exact opposite happened.
As far as performance measures like the vo2 max of the runner’s top sprinting speed, it was very similar outside and inside, and more interestingly runners display more endurance in outside running.
When looking at the biomechanics of runners running on a treadmill versus outside running, they found slight and subtle differences between the knee angle and the peak ground force which make no difference at all.
Another difference between running on a treadmill and outside on the field is a lack of wind resistance while running on a treadmill. The algorithm will say that, if you put the treadmill up at a one percent gradient, one percent incline, it will make your treadmill’s pace more equal to the outside running pace and the great thing about the treadmill is that you can control the pace and environment.
Running on a treadmill while maintaining your dead steady pace gets you stressed because you are constantly running at a certain pace, your heart rate might start increasing or you may start feeling some muscle tightness, whereas in an outdoor run you are not locking up your pace and you exactly don’t know at what pace you are actually running so it could be a double-edged sword.
When is it better to run on a treadmill versus to run outside on the field? This is the question we have heard a lot.
When to Run Outside:
Running outside is never a bad idea indeed, most importantly if you’re training for a race. Although climatic conditions may impact the schedule of runners that’s not even a good excuse. see benefits of running in the morning.
Nothing is going to beat an actual runner from running outside when it comes to weather conditions and environment, King says.
So if you are training for a race in an area where weather conditions are unpredictable, then it can be beneficial in an aspect to build your mental strength and test your gear and prepare you for the challenges.
When to Use a Treadmill:
Running on a treadmill seems great when you are just looking to keep up your cardio as part of a well-rounded fitness routine. It can also be great for runners coming back from injury and are not ready for the ground reaction forces of running on concrete or asphalt. For those runners, a high-quality treadmill has a great tool for structured speed workouts in its training plans.
An enthusiast runner shares a love for both approaches. Each one has its pros and cons and fortunately, you can reap the excellent benefits from both. It can be concluded as the best running approach for you is the one you enjoy most and can consistently adopt.
Mahwish Hafeez is a freelance content writer, and a researcher. Her area of expertise includes blog writing, article writing and research work based on different aspects of social, health, Accounts and Finance and digital content