Better Way to Run: Treadmill or Outside?


Is Running on a Treadmill Effective?

While some outdoor runners believe that treadmill running is monotonous and boring, some treadmill runners prefer running in a controlled environment. Fortunately, both types of running have their benefits. In this article. we will discuss the pros and cons of outdoor and treadmill running and have you decide which is better for you.

Treadmill Running

A treadmill is an exercise machine with a controllable rotating belt which you can walk or run on. While some people use treadmills in workout facilities, others have their personal treadmill at home.

Benefits of Running on a Treadmill


One of the greatest advantages of using a treadmill is its accessibility. You don`t have limitations as to when to run on a treadmill. This level of accessibility enables people to exercise at night. It also helps people who live in places with ever-changing weather conditions to keep up with their exercise schedule.


Treadmill runners enjoy various functions such as precise control of their pace, as well as intervals. This is particularly helpful for those returning from an injury, as they can progress slowly on a treadmill in a more controlled environment. For instance, running outside may not be safe for someone who is recovering from an ankle injury. This is mainly because of the uneven ground and slippery sidewalks outside.


Finally, running on a treadmill may be better for your joints because most treadmills have cushioned belts. Hard grounds, on the other hand, don`t have such benefits.

Disadvantages of Treadmill Running


With outdoor running, you see various objects and people in your surroundings. Indoor treadmill running doesn`t expose you to such. You remain in a fixed place all through. This can definitely become boring over time.

There are modern treadmills that have screens to simulate an outdoor run to make the experience more enjoyable, however, the experience may never be like running outdoors.

Lower Level of Exercise

Treadmill running requires the glutes and hamstrings, and only a few other muscle groups, unlike outdoor running that engages more. This may limit your level of exercise. A way around this is to incorporate resistance training into your fitness routine a few times each week. This will help you work the muscle groups that treadmill training doesn`t.


Using a treadmill — using one in a gym or owning yours — is definitely more expensive than running outside. You will save yourself some dollars by running outside.

Outdoor Running

athleteOutdoor running involves running outside on a path, sidewalk, trail, or any other outdoor terrain.

Advantages of Outdoor Running


Many runners find outdoor running more interesting  than treadmill running because of the fresh air, changing scenery, uneven ground, and numerous options for running routes.


The  variety that outside runners have can increase their motivation to continue exercise consistently.

Better Connection to Nature

Outdoor running helps runners connect to nature better, as they can see grasses, flowers, gardens, domestic animals, and even fellow runners. This sure has loads of physical and psychological benefits. Studies show that spending at least 30 minutes each week around outdoor greenery can reduce  high blood pressure by 9%, and depression rates by 7%.

Better Exercise

There are various factors that enable outdoor runners to exercise better. For instance, they activate various muscle groups and develop better balance from dodging other runners and barriers, running up hills, avoiding people on the trail, as well as jumping over puddles.

Stronger Bones

Running outdoors can build stronger bones because the surfaces are harder than that of a treadmill. This enables greater gravitational force and stress on the bones, which are vital for bone metabolism.


All you need are your running shoes and workout gear and you’re good to go as an outdoor runner.

Disadvantages of Outdoor Running

Safety Risk

Running outdoors is best in dry, moderately warm temperatures. During the rains and snow, or extremely cold and hot temperatures, running outside can be a challenge. You’ll need the proper clothing, training, and preparation to run in any weather condition.

Risk of Dehydration

waterRunning outside in the extreme heat or cold  can increase your risk of dehydration. This is particularly life-threatening if you’re not wearing the proper clothing or well hydrated.

Risk of Being Hurt

Running at night increases the risk of injury and some other firms of danger. If you must run at night, you’re advised to wear reflective clothing and a headlamp to help you see. Ensure someone knows your route and your estimated time of arrivin g home. You may also find a running buddy.

Benefits of Running

Tones the Legs

It does seem obvious that the first parts of your body to be affected by running are your legs. Running gives your legs a complete workout; it builds your thighs, calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes. The muscles of your legs are toned and made stronger after you recover from each running session.

Keeps your Heart Healthy

Running has loads of positive impacts on the heart and blood vessels. Running regularly can drastically reduce the risks of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. As you run, your heartbeat is normalized, and the pumping of blood is regulated. Running for an extended period can prevent fat from interrupting blood circulation.

Strengthens Joints and Bones

Running reduces the risk of having bone-related diseases by building stronger bones and developing the joints. People who run regularly particularly enjoy these benefits.

Reduces Belly Fat

Running can help you reduce belly fat. Many people who have bulging bellies only need to have a dedicated schedule for running each day, or at least, often. Running naturally helps to burn body fat and strengthen muscles. Regular running builds your core muscles such as your transverse obliques, and erector spinae. This keeps your belly in shape without flabs.

Some Running Facts

  • The ancient men had the capability to run longer distances than present-day runners.
  • Before 1980, women were not permitted to join marathons.
  • When we run, our hearts create enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.
  • Endurance running enhances the nervous system.
  • The ‘runner’s knee’ is probably the most common running injury.
  • Running can reduce the chances of arthritis by 50% +, way more than walking does.
  • Running helps to maintain a balanced amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the blood.
  • Running boosts the sex drive in men because it increases testosterone levels by 15%.
  • Music boosts running performance by up to 15%.
  • Worldwide, people buy over a billion pairs of running shoes each year.
  • There are 112 ligaments, 26 bones, 33 joints, nerves, blood vessels and tendons at work every time you run.
  • Running 20 miles per week will increase your chances of living longer.
  • The fastest animal on earth is the cheetah with a speed of 110 – 120 km/h.
  • Running in cold weather is safer than running on a hot day.
  • Bananas are one of runners’ best snacks.
  • Runners are advised not to drink water an hour before running. You may only drink 8 oz. 5 minutes before you run to avoid a loo stop. 
  • Running affects the taste of breast milk, as it can taste sour after intense running training. The lactic acid produced during strenuous exercise is absorbed into the milk and changes the taste. 
  • When we run, our hearts create enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.

Now that you Know…

Running on a treadmill and running outside each have their benefits and downsides. Whichever you choose, you benefit physically and mentally. The better option, really, is the type you enjoy and will stick to long term.