Running outdoors has a string of advantages. It’s the most natural form of movement, allowing you to mix up training with a multitude of terrains. Hit a hill and your carves will feel the impact. Run down a bank and you’ll feel it in your quads. You can do it anywhere and at any time, with fresh air and stunning views. The Benefits of Treadmill Running
But swapping the trails for a treadmill can sometimes pay off. For many of us, there are a few drawbacks of pounding the pavements that can be resolved with an indoor running session. Here are the benefits of treadmill training:
What do you need to know about the benefits and risks of treadmill running? What are the advantages and disadvantages of running on a treadmill compared with running outside?
Often times we hear first of the disadvantages of running on a treadmill. It can be boring. Why not go outside and make your run more scenic? If you focus on these thoughts, it’s easy to lose your motivation before you ever get started. The Benefits of Treadmill Running
Instead, what are the benefits and advantages of running inside? Let’s talk about several reasons why running on a treadmill indoors can beat running outside in the elements.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – Treadmill Running Can Be Easier on Your Body
Relative to pavement—whether concrete or asphalt—treadmills offer better shock absorption. Better shock absorption is translated into less stress on your feet and knees. In addition, the extra cushioning and smooth surface of a treadmill also allow for easier runs.
Many of us have heard of friends with “runner’s knee” or patellofemoral pain syndrome. And we know that too much running can lead to injury. You probably also know of someone who is no longer able to run due to these injuries.
Recent evidence suggests, however, that runners may not risk arthritis as previously thought. At least if people have a normal body mass index (BMI) and have no history of knee injuries.
While this is a good sign, the non-arthritis side effects of running on concrete and asphalt can be limiting to both those who have problematic knees and legs and those who do not.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – You Don’t Have to Worry About Weather
Running in bad weather, such as heavy rain or snow, can be very unpleasant. Even when being careful running on snow and ice, injuries still occur. Running in hot weather can also be dangerous, and sometimes results in dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Running in the comfort of a temperature-controlled environment, however, can solve these problems. Not only do you avoid the risks, but you don’t have to plan ahead to make sure you aren’t over or underdressing. And you don’t even need to worry about applying sunscreen!
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – You Can Simulate Race Courses
If you live in a very flat area and you’re training for a hilly marathon, you can still run hills on the treadmill. You can even plan your hills for certain points during your run, so you can prepare yourself for the same type of course on race day.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – You Can Simulate Race Conditions
If you’re training for a warm weather race but you live in a cold climate, you can run on a treadmill to get acclimatized to a warm environment. You can also try out race day outfits, so you’re not wearing shorts or another item of clothing for the first time on race day.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – It’s Safer Than Running Outside
Running indoors on a treadmill means you don’t have to deal with potential hazards of running outside, such as falls, cars, cyclists, dogs, and other attackers.
If you don’t have a running partner or group to run outside with, running on a treadmill is a safer alternative than running alone outside.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – You Can Control Your Pace
When running outside, some runners have a hard time maintaining a consistent pace and end up running faster or slower than they wanted. The treadmill makes it easy to track your mileage and pace.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – You Can Multi-Task
Running on a treadmill provides the opportunity to multi-task. Unlike running outdoors, it’s safe to use headphones and listen to music or audiobooks, watch television, or flip through a magazine while you’re running on the treadmill.
The Benefits of Treadmill Running – Treadmill Running Is Convenient
Convenience plays a huge role in our lives. All you need to do is look at the drive-through lane at your nearest fast food establishment.
Treadmills offer more convenience than running outside. You can run inside when it’s late at night or pouring rain. Moms and dads can run at home without having to pay a babysitter.
Hill Training on a Treadmill Can Be Easier on Your Body
When you’re running hills outside, you’re running both uphill and downhill. But when running hills on a treadmill, you get all the strength and endurance-building benefits of uphill training without the downhills, which are a lot harder on your body.
Bottom Line on the Benefits of Treadmill Running
As noted above and despite the opinions that claim treadmill running is boring, there are many benefits and advantages of running in a controlled environment indoors. One disadvantage we neglected to mention is that running in nature may generate greater happiness. A 2017 study, however, found a way to overcome this disadvantage.
Treadmill runners who were allowed to view a static or dynamic nature image while running were happier and more excited following the completion of their runs. Perhaps you can hang a picture of your favorite out-of-doors location on the wall by your treadmill, or play nature videos on a nearby TV or even your phone.
Benefits of Treadmill Indoor Running
When we’re running outdoors, we’re at the mercy of the elements. If a thunderstorm hits, you’re probably going to have to call the long run off. If it’s icy, you run the risk of falling and sustaining an injury. Weather changes, so dressing appropriately can be a challenge – no one wants to be boiling or freezing during a session. You can hit a treadmill whatever the weather – and since the gym’s warm you can do it all in one layer, meaning ease of movement for a more natural run.
Less chance of jolting
While the mix of terrain helps give you a full-body workout, much outdoor running is on pavements – especially in urban environments. Hitting firmer ground can jolt your joints and cause knee pain. If you suffer from shin splints, outdoor running could actually be quite painful. Softer treadmills absorb more impact, with incline settings to create lighter landings, resulting in less damage to your joints.
Goaldiggers, rejoice. Running on a machine allows the most accurate recording of your performance. You can monitor your heart rate, speed, distance and an estimation of calories burned. This allows you to tap into your progress and tweak your workouts according to your fitness statistics. Of course, this can all be done running outdoors – but you need to invest in the equipment and set it all up before each run in the first place.
You’re in control
Running the same outdoor route every day can be limiting. Our innovative treadmills come with a range of exciting workout plans, meaning you can switch things up as often as you want. You might want to focus on uphill ascents or upping your speed – a treadmill will give you the power to alter more variables. You can also control your running pace, which can be tricky to stay on top of outdoors. This way, you don’t overexert yourself and can build endurance.
More likely to find a running buddy
It’s especially hard to find someone willing to brave the cold during winter months. Taking your running regime indoors means you’re more likely to find a friend who will want to join you – meaning you’ll both be more motivated to hit your targets.
Technology to distract
Ever find yourself getting bored after a few miles? While outdoor scenery arguably can’t be beaten, newer treadmill models come equipped with in-built entertainment systems. You can listen to your most kickass jam or even catch up with your favourite sitcom – distracting the brain from quitting the session and keeping you moving.
The Benefits of 30 Minutes on the Treadmill a Day
Improves Stamina and Endurance
Exercising for 30 minutes a day will help you build cardio stamina and muscular endurance, or your ability to perform physical activity over time. Beginners should walk at a pace less than 4 mph to prevent fatiguing before 30 minutes. Shorter, high-speed workouts on a treadmill help you build the capacity to do high-intensity exercise, but slower or moderate-intensity walking for longer periods helps you build stamina and endurance.
Using a treadmill for 30 minutes each day helps you burn calories. A 160-lb. beginner, walking at 2 mph, will burn 183 calories per hour. At 3.5 mph, she’ll burn 277 calories. Jogging at 5 mph for an hour burns 584 calories, while running at 8 mph burns 986 calories.
Walking, jogging, running or sprinting on a treadmill challenges your heart, which is a muscle. Elevating your heart rate for the duration of a 30-minute workout helps improves cardio capacity and stamina. The American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine recommend 30-minute workouts on most days each week to improve and maintain heart health.
Improved Blood Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad for you. High-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, helps decrease your risk for atherosclerosis, a blocking of the arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Exercise such as walking on a treadmill at a brisk pace for 30 minutes may help boost HDL levels by as much as 5 percent if you exercise regularly, according to MayoClinic.com. Use the heart rate monitor on a treadmill to reach 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate or jog between 4 and 5 mph, depending on your height and leg stride. Many treadmills come with programmable workouts, allowing you to enter your age, height and weight to achieve the right speed for you.
If you can’t perform high-impact workouts every day, such as aerobic dancing, jogging, jumping rope or other exercises that require you to leave the ground with both feet, walking on a treadmill is an option for you. Not only is walking a low-impact exercise, but the soft treadmill is a more forgiving surface the asphalt and concrete surfaces on which you walk outdoors.