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Treadmill VS Outdoor Running

Author: FITivate | Published date: April 8, 2024 | Category: Medical
treadmill vs outdoor running

This is no solid justification as to which one is indeed better than the other, this is because, both running methods are able to support runners towards different sets of outcomes. This article will offer better clarity for individuals to decide  which form of exercise to adopt, based on their intended goals.

Treadmills have evolved to become smart gadgets which can not only track and monitor progression, runners can now be able to watch their favorite Netflix programs from the touch screen panels of higher end devices.  

The advantages of treadmills

Pace pusher

Consider treadmills as invisible pacers. They provide consistent, pre-determined belt speeds which can push runners to control and maintain a certain running pace. This is not easily achieved when running outdoors, as speeds vary based on the runner’s situational efforts of exertion at any point of the run.

Additionally, with slope elevation options, runners can condition themselves by controlling the duration and steepness of their up slope runs.

Weatherproof convenience

Indoor running can be done anytime and at any environment. Treadmill runners can be assured that their run will not be at the mercy of elements such as wet weather, where belt conditions are not affected by the slipperiness from the rain, or risks of heat exhaustion from the blistering hot sun.

Joint friendly

Treadmills are often equipped with shock absorbers underneath the running deck. The cushioned runs from these machines make it ideal in alleviating impact to the joints, thus, reducing the chances of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) (runner's knee) from occurring. It also serves as a good rehabilitation and conditioning equipment for runners recovering from injuries. 

The advantages of outdoor running

Replicates race conditions

Marathons are conducted in the great outdoors, as such, the best way to mimic such conditions is to conduct training runs outside. The actual demands from the runner must take into account elements such as wind resistance, weather conditions, overcoming obstacles and negotiating occasional turns.

The air that we breathe

Typically, treadmill runners will have to subject themselves to working out in a dry, air-conditioned gym. This can be prevented if runners opt for outdoor runs around locations with an abundance of fresh, and well circulated air.

Musculoskeletal and Bone Health

Overcoming physical obstacles and negotiating bends help to enhance the lateral agility of runners. These stop and acceleration instances can activate and strengthen lower body and core muscles.

The weight bearing impact from every stride during outdoor runs can have actual benefits to bone health. Similar to resistance-based workouts, moderate outdoor runs are proven to build bone mineral density, which in turn, can help prevent age-related diseases such as osteoporosis. 

Get the most out of your runs

Mixing in short intervals of resistance-based workouts can have added benefits in fat burning and performance enhancing effects.  Consider incorporating simple body weight exercises such as pushups, sit-ups or squats in-between, or at the end of each session to maximize calorie expenditure and pack on more lean muscle mass. 

By : Alvin Ho

B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)

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