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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Like most, I prefer the open road for my long or tempo runs, and probably even for speedwork. There is something to be said for using the treadmill for intervals though--you know exactly what pace you're running and it's easier for me to shift out of the times properly.
I do find myself using the treadmill more during winter, not because of conditions outside (not a problem here) but Daylight Savings. I used to really hate it but now I just treat it like a different beast and try and take advantage of whatever bells and whistles (inclines, fans, monitors, television, Nike + iPod) the machine I'm using at the Y has.
1/31/2011 9:42:43 AM
This is a great and comprehensive article. Thanks for sharing it.
The treadmill definitely has its advantages, but when it comes to fitness there is no comparison-- outdoor running wins hands-down. After three years of treadmill running for almost hour-long sessions, I couldn't run a half-hour outdoors.
Another benefit of outdoor running is the social potential. Last year I joined a running group and it was very rewarding.
I'm an outdoor runner. I don't have room for a treadmill but I wouldn't own one even if I did. Many of us refer to it as a dreadmill. I just make sure that I run in an area that gets very little traffic. But yes, you do need to be careful when running outside during the winter.
After I started running on a treadmill, my knees gave out - the doctor who finally was able to explain it told me that there were a few factors: 1) I'm a woman - which means that my hips are wider than my knees; 2) I'm at the age when my ligaments are not as resilient as they used to be; 3) with a treadmill, the mechanics are different than on the road (or track) - when we walk/run, our body pretty much goes with our feet. When we walk/run on a treadmill, we put our feet out in front of our body, and it gets moved back to us by the machine - which means that with the treadmill, our foot arch gets pulled down more than when we normally walk/run - which in turn pulls on the ligaments in the leg, and because of the angle from the knee to my hip, this put an abnormal strain on my knees, and I now cannot use the treadmill (and some other things as well). So - telling people that if they have bad knees they should use a treadmill is not a good thing - tell them to go to a good sports doctor first and get their recommendation.
I like more outdoor walking coz it makes me feel attached to the nature while enjoying the fun of doing it with friends around. Likewise ,, it serves as a good opportunity for meeting people from all walks of life.. and that includes having to meet people from the business world too... So ALL in One... hehehe
I HATE treadmills!! In the past I have owned two of them and gave one of them away and sold the other one. My steps are uneven and I could never get a comfortable walking gait on the treadmill. I was unable to go as far on the treadmill as I do outside, so I do most of my walking outside. I have some of Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home DVDs which I use to "walk" inside when the weather isn't condusive to being outside.
10/19/2010 3:38:15 PM
The treadmill beats outdoors every time for me because I can read while I walk. I just prop up whatever I want to catch up on -- The Economist, one of those classics I always meant to get around to, fat airport novel, you name it -- and walk. I feel like I'm doing two things I need to be doing in half the time it might normally take.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkTeams, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.