There has been a debate on the subject for a long time now: is it better to run on the treadmill or run outside? While many studies have been done on the matter, the answer seems to always be the same. It depends on the runner and each person’s goals. However, there are pros and cons for both options, so it really does differ from person to person. There are times when you can’t avoid the treadmill. For instance, when it gets too cold in the dead of winter, it isn’t much of an option to go for a run outside. Once the weather starts warming up, there is less of a necessity for the treadmill since you can go running outside. So, we’re going to talk about some of the benefits of running outside rather than on the treadmill.
More Muscle Build
Outdoor running overall builds muscle more than running on a treadmill. The reason for this is every time your foot lands in front of you on the treadmill, the belt brings your leg back underneath you. This movement is otherwise done by your glutes. By running outdoors and on hills, you’ll be working more muscles in your legs and challenging them properly. Not to mention, this will also engage your core muscles as well.
Bigger Calorie Burn
Running outside normally requires more energy than running on a treadmill does. On a treadmill, the surface stays the same as opposed to outside, where things change. From the wind giving you more resistance to the changing surfaces, running outside will lead to a larger calorie burn. While we don’t recommend running in extreme temperatures, there is an added bonus to running – your body burns extra calories by regulating its temperature.
Lower Risk Of Injury
Even though the softer surface of the treadmill resulted in less impact on your bones and connective tissues, that isn’t necessarily a good thing according to experts. While this can result in a lower risk of injury, having less impact also means that running won’t stimulate as much bone growth. Over time, this could result in injury.
Higher Energy Levels
This one is a clear difference between the treadmill and running outside. Research has found that those who run outside enjoy an increased energy boost than those who run indoors. On top of that, they also have a bigger drop in tension, anger, and depression. Running outside comes with a sense of exploration thanks to the scenery around you and the change in direction.
Better Heart Health
As long as you’re running at the same speed inside or outside, your heart will be getting the same amount of exertion. That might sound like it makes no difference where you run, but that isn’t the case. It turns out that there is an added mood boost that comes with running outside – along with some vitamin D – that will improve your heart health in the long term.