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  /  Blog   /  Outdoor vs Treadmill

Outdoor vs Treadmill

Pandemic has become a challenging time for runners and active people. What was a given way of life is now a huge risk. You are now forced to think whether to run outdoors or on a treadmill. Even before the pandemic forced this thought upon you, you might have often wondered whether outdoor running is safe or running on a treadmill is better. And you would have come across countless opinions that only confuse you. .
Here is an attempt from us to present our perspectives on both. In the end, you will be the best person to decide which option is the perfect one considering your goal and other factors that are specific to you.

Running outdoor
Compared with indoor running, outdoor running is more beneficial as you consider the real effort, energy expended, calorie burn, etc due to variations in terrain, weather, and wind conditions but also because the treadmill ultimately does a lot of work for you by propelling you forward.


  • It is inexpensive as you do not need any equipment to run. All you need is your shoes or maybe not even that if you are a barefoot runner
  • It prepares you for all the road races that happen across the year
  • Provides more variety as each day is different due to wind, sun, etc. All the external factors define your run as well.
  • You burn more calories
  • Running outdoors build stability due to the ever-changing terrain that you encounter
  • You feel more connected to nature, which reduces depression and elevates mood
  • You build better balance and activate other muscle groups because of the different terrains you run
  • Helps in building stronger bones since you are running on hard surfaces
  • You will have distractions to take your mind off the physical exertion
  • You get a daily dose of vitamin D when you run in the sun


  • You cannot run outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Running in extreme cold or heat can increase your risk of dehydration
  • Running on concrete roads or hard surfaces can cause long term injuries due to the hard impact

Treadmill running
Treadmills are one of the most popular cardiovascular equipment ever built to be used indoors, be it at your home or the gym. It is the alternative to outdoor running with many advantages and of course, a few disadvantages.


  • There are no weather or temperature-related constraints. You can run at any time of day or night and in any climate
  • You can improve your progress slowly in a controlled environment as it is easy to control the pace at which you want to run
  • Running on a treadmill may be better for your joints when you have joint issues. Most treadmills have cushioned belts to absorb some impact. Enables you to set a pace and maintain it


  • Running in a fixed place can become boring over time.
  • Treadmill running requires fewer muscle groups as you do not twist and turn. It is running on a never-ending straight road
  • Cannot run downhill unless you have an advanced treadmill

What are the differences between treadmill running and outdoor running?

  • Variations in stride length and cadence are observed.
  • Running outside creates a greater metabolic task than running on a treadmill does.
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