Treadmill Running: The Pros and Cons

It has been long debated whether running outside or on a treadmill is better for your health. Many argue that one is a better exercise, while the other is not. The good news is that running inside on a treadmill and outside are both great workouts. Of course, there are some extra pros, as well as cons, that come along with just treadmill running. Know these pros and cons to decide if treadmill running is the right choice for you.

Pro: Same Level of Difficulty

Some people may think that running on a treadmill indoors is the easy route. However, running at a one percent incline has been accurately found to expend the same energy costs as running outdoors.

Pro: Joint Health

Running on a treadmill is easier on your joints and can prevent injuries. This is because the treadmill belt is smooth, cushioned, and more forgiving on joints.

Pro: Simulate Race Environments

The higher end treadmills can help you train better for races and marathons because they can simulate different types of trails or terrains and change during your workout.

Con: Less Agility Benefits

Running outside can help boost your coordination and balance, which will also help improve your ability to do other tasks. When you run on a treadmill, this benefit is lost.

Con: Not All Muscles Get Worked

The propulsion of the treadmill belt does some work for you when you run. This means that you are not working out your hamstrings and glutes as well as they need to be worked out on a treadmill. To fix this problem, add a few outside runs to your workout list or include cross training to your treadmill runs to make sure the muscles in the back of your legs are worked out too.

Con: Treadmills Can Be Boring

Most people would agree that running on a treadmill is boring. Even with your favorite playlist and TV show to watch while you run, for some, the time just ticks away slower while you are inside. Running outside gives you the benefits of nature and also can make you feel like your workout is going faster, since you are covering more ground. If you find yourself getting bored with running on a treadmill, be sure to mix up your running workout often.

There are equal amount of pros and cons to running on a treadmill. Ultimately, it comes down to your preference and which one you will do more of.

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