Member Comments for the Article:

Are You Cheating Yourself by Choosing the Treadmill?

What's Better: the Treadmill or the Open Road?


  • Ah, if only running outside WERE actually free...!

    The pounding of outdoor running makes really good protective gear pretty important.

    I really prefer outdoor activities in general. After a lot of outdoor biking, and indoor cardio, I'm now ready to give outdoor running a whirl. I even priced it out (really high quality, well-fitted running shoes that wil last 4-6 mos, and sports bras for higher impact activity - expensive for busty women). I realized I'll need about $500 worth of stuff to give outdoor running a go.

    So, for now, I am sticking with indoor, lower impact cardio equipment (Arc Trainers, Cross Trainers and the like) at my blessedly cheap gym, until I can acquire that new gear! - 1/31/2012 9:09:31 AM
  • Great article. This really covers the pros and cons of each. I'm clearly in the outdoor running camp. I don't own, nor do I have the room for, a treadmill, lovingly referred to as a dreadmill. I DO NOT wear an MP3 player as I really enjoy the experience of running outside. An MP3 player would be an interference plus a person can't hear cars and other sounds as well when wearing a headset. But if I were to run on a treadmill I would definitely want to be either listening to music or watching a monitor of some sort.

    But a treadmill allows you to run when the weather is bad outside. And it allows people to workout without leaving home if they are unable to.

    So, really, it's a personal choice. Great article Spark People. - 1/31/2012 8:18:48 AM
  • for me, there is another huge factor not listed here - going outside is FREE - 1/31/2012 7:53:33 AM
  • I haven't read all of the comments, so this might be repetitive...

    The number one reason I exercise indoors is because of have small children. Among the many reasons it is not feasible is that I do not get the kind of exercise I need when my kids are with me. Articles that do not address real world situations we find ourselves really miss the point. - 1/31/2012 1:29:08 AM
  • I was raised in So. Calif and I used to jog and ran 10 -15 miles a week by the becah where I lived. Cardio was just about 20% of my workout routine. Now I moved to the Pacific Northwest and the almost year long extreme cold and wet weather just wouldn't allow me to run outside. I got my first cold and fever in more than ten years last time I ran outside. So I started to use the treadmill in my gym regularly where I hardly used it before. I discovered that I couldn't run as fast or as far in the treadmill, otherwise I would feel pain in my knee. The more than 3% incline would induced pain in my ankle. My personal opinion was that the treadmill was made for walking and not for serious running. Most serious people would rather walk or run outside if they had a choice. Of course I couldn't understand why people would read on any cardio machine. I used to tell my ex that if she could read, she was going too slow to do any good, or made any forward progress. - 11/15/2011 10:44:37 PM
  • The last time I ran outside, it got to be nine million degrees before I knew what was going on, and my car was broken into. Treadmill = no dangerous people/dogs + AC + plentiful water supply. :) I'm not an outdoor-running hater--just not for me! - 8/2/2011 3:51:01 PM
  • For me the treadmill is great. No excuses! I am not into running, but I do walk fast on the treadmill. When the weather is comfortable enough for me walk outside, then my allergies are made worse by everything blooming! So, for me, using the treadmill has more advantages. - 5/31/2011 6:41:01 PM
  • Anyone else see the new Google Maps treadmill? I'm generally a fan of outdoor running, but I'd love to get my hands on one of those treadmills! - 4/13/2011 3:44:39 PM
  • Shadowpup, thanks for sharing that info..I didn't even know that existed and my husband had to rig something up for me to act as a desk on my treadmill! Great info!! - 3/18/2011 11:17:45 AM
  • For me it's just simple practicality that I run on a treadmill and walk outdoors. Two reasons: When I'm outdoors, I want a leisurely stroll to take in my surroundings and enjoy them. I ran outdoors yesterday for my second day on the c25k program and when I finished I had knee pain I had never felt before, I was extremely nauseated and dizzy. I also have pronation problems due to flat feet. If there is one thing I've learned from years of exercise, it's not to overextend yourself! I think the gist of this article was that outdoor running is better than treadmill running and I don't think that's a fair impression. All of us are of different ages, different skill levels, and have different body types that all play a part in what works best for us individually. While I would much rather be outdoors instead of running in a stuffy room, it's what works for me and helps me not only stick w/the program, but helps me complete my run. I'll stick w/my treadmill!! - 3/18/2011 11:16:05 AM
  • If you're not using your treadmill much - try a Trek Desk! This is a desk you put 'over' a treadmill. You can do quite a bit of computer work done that way, while walking slowly. I bought mine to help recover from a back injury and it is amazing how energizing it is. - 2/13/2011 10:27:38 PM
  • In the treadmill versus outdoor debate, I personally think the best kind of walking/running is the walking/running that you're actually DOING. There are pros and cons to each way, and they both burn calories and increase your fitness levels. I generally prefer the "fun factor" of running outdoors, but at the same time, I use the treadmill plenty for practical reasons (especially in the winter!) Sometimes it really REALLY isn't doable/safe for me to get outdoors, and I'd rather hit the treadmill than risk my safety/health or not work out at all. - 2/1/2011 1:01:33 PM
  • If I couldn't have my treadmill I would not find the opportunity to walk consistently 5x/week for several reasons. There will always be pros and cons to either, but for me this works and that is what is important. - 1/31/2011 7:57:28 PM
  • Because of all the different pros and cons for each, I figured the comment section was going to be the best part of the article. For beginners, a treadmill can be a terrific option. As I have started participating in more races (and looking to keep up a running lifestyle into "old age") the treadmill no longer meets my needs. The mechanics of running are completely different (I'm using the ChiRunning technique), and cannot be done on the treadmill. I also find the elliptical machine is much easier on my joints than a treadmill (although it is no substitute for getting outside either). Plus, when you walk in your neighborhood, there ends up being the bonus of "ownership" and pride in how the environlment looks, and a better chance of meeting and knowing your neighbors. - 1/31/2011 6:06:37 PM
  • I am an outdoors type of gal when it comes to consistent cardio. I love the freedom, sunshine, breeze, cool air; not so much wind or rain however! : ) That's when the convenience of a treadmill is handy. I don't own a treadmill; so need to make do when I can. They both have pros and cons for whatever reasons you have!

    Just keep moving!! : ) - 1/31/2011 2:03:30 PM

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