The good and bad sides of running on the treadmill

One of the topics of constant debates is whether it is better to run outside or inside, on the treadmill. The truth is – one is not better than the other, but there are good and bad sides of both workouts. Some people find treadmill boring, while others say that treadmill helps them be more efficient. “Hamster wheel” is one of the nicknames people have for the treadmill, describing never-ending treadmill runs.

We have gathered three good and three bad sides regarding working out on the treadmill:

First, we will list the good sides:

– Running on treadmill is much easier for joints – this is one of the main advantages of running on treadmill. Instead of running or cement or hard pavement, running on cushioned and smooth belt of treadmill is much better for our joints. This is really helpful for people who are recovering from an injury or rehab. In case you are starting working out again after a serious injury, you can start working out on treadmill and later do one run outside and one on the treadmill.

– The difficulty is practically the same – everybody thinks that it is much harder running outside, than it is on the treadmill. However, one research has shown that if you set the treadmill to a 1% incline, you practically replicate the outside conditions.

– You can replicate the race conditions on a treadmill – this is something that you can do on advanced treadmills. You can replicate race conditions by simply creating unique course profile, which helps you prepare yourself for an upcoming race. Furthermore, when you practice on the treadmill, you don’t have to worry about the weather conditions.

Second, we will list the bad sides:

– It’s not interesting as running outside – yes, workouts on treadmill are boring. It doesn’t matter how good movie you are watching or how amazing playlist you have created – it is still going to be boring. On the other hand, when you run outside, you know where the finish line is and you are able to see how you are approaching it, which makes you feel like time is passing faster.

– Running on treadmill makes you lose your agility – we have mentioned before that the treadmill is easier on your joints, however, because there are no benefits from uneven terrain, you lose your agility. On the other hand, running outside helps you improve your agility, mostly because your body has to adjust and balance all the time, because the terrain you are running on is not completely flat, even if it looks flat to you.

– Running on the treadmill affects less muscles than running outside – the belt you’re running on is powered by machine, which makes it a little easier on your muscles and body, but, although it helps just a little, it still has a big impact on your body. If you still want to continue running on the treadmill, make sure to include some cross training in your routine, to work the muscles on the back of your legs.

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