Treadmills take out the factor of weather and its unpredictability out of one’s fitness routine completely. These are convenient running machines that have found their way into every celebrity’s fitness routine, athlete’s regular workout and beginner’s fancy. Every gym is stocking up on the latest electronic and programmable models. Even Wile E. Coyote could have nothing against them!
Today, the ongoing debate is about the benefits of treadmills over conventional running. There are experts, who will tell you that running is always better than working out indoors. It will challenge you with ever-changing terrains and new intensities. However, the modern treadmill is not far behind at all. The programmable ones will let you set multiple resistance runs at one go, and they will allow you to monitor your progress in real time. Several experts insist that treadmills force the users to sustain a constant pace and that harms the performance levels or health of the joints. As you can understand, it has been a long debate, and today we will help you get to the bottom of it.
Outdoor running vs treadmills: which one is better?
Here are the primary benefits and drawbacks of running outdoors that fitness experts have reported over the years –
- You do not need a gym membership to become fit by running
- You can stay on track even while travelling abroad
- It is ideal for training for road races and long-distance courses
- Completing a particular distance and reaching a landmark can be more motivating than hopping on a machine for 20 to 30 minutes
- Your performance will depend upon the terrain and the weather conditions
- Running for long distances can strain your muscles and give you fatigue the next day
- Running on uneven terrain sends shock waves to your joints
- Not understanding how much energy you are expanding and when anaerobic conditioning is setting in can be harmful to a runner’s body
Here are a few of the pros and cons of working out on a treadmill –
- You don’t need a gym membership when you have a treadmill at home
- You will never have to worry about getting a personal fitness trainer
- You will never have to depend on weather conditions to claim your fitness
- A running machine will always show the distance you have covered and the time you have taken accurately
- Programmable working machines with memory can help you check your progress over a period
- Even the most advanced treadmill designs do not come with a downward incline option that is necessary to strengthen the anterior tibialis muscles
- There is no option to practice turning while running on a treadmill that targets lateral agility while running
- It can be tedious to stare at a wall while running on a traditional treadmill
With the long list of pros and cons of outside running vs treadmills, it is not difficult to make a decision for even the most veteran fitness expert. There is enough reason for these programmable treadmills to be a part of almost every trending fitness regime. Nearly all celebrity trainers swear by the 20 minutes they spend per day on treadmills for burning the excess calories they pack during fancy brunches and late-night parties.
Treadmills can help you prevent injury to your knees
These treadmills offer a safe space for everyone to practice their running skills and strengthen almost all the muscles necessary for completing a long-distance run. Even if you are preparing for a marathon or a triathlon, you should hop on a treadmill at least once a week to give your knees and ankles some rest from the daily outdoor running. Did you know? Most outdoor runners report knee injuries due to constant pressure the rough terrains and unpredictable inclines put on their lower limbs. Treadmills can help you prevent these injuries and help you train better for the upcoming race.
What is perceived exertion? Why is it essential for indoor runs?
Research shows that running outside is no different from running on a treadmill as long as the experts consider the effort level. Effort encompasses the runner’s heart rate and perceived exertion. The perceived exertion of an athlete is the phenomenon, where the person assumes a difficulty level for a particular activity. For example – some people consider swimming to be a recreational activity but running to be an exercise. It is likely that they perceive running to be more difficult than swimming, irrespective of how their body might respond to them.
It is common for people to believe they have exerted less and burnt fewer calories while running indoors as opposed to running outdoors on a hot day. Although, the vitals show that their heart rates are effectively the same. Perceived exertion matters because people tend to give up early when they believe a particular task to be more difficult than the others. So, if you are thinking about taking up running to remain physically active, there is a high probability that you might end up quitting before reaching the finish line.
Programmable running machines can challenge you to improve
If you are worried that the treadmill will not be able to challenge you enough like the average terrain, you can adjust the incline between 1% and 5% during your training. Gradually increasing the incline usually helps in increasing the intensity rate. Therefore, if your only aim is to keep yourself healthy and happy, you should have to look no further than the latest treadmill models. A running machine is all you need to meet your cardiovascular goals. Training indoors in a predictable environment can help you focus on your posture and perfect your stride. You can test your abilities and push yourself while observing your real-time heart rate.
Moreover, you will be able to assess body fat percentage, observe the distance you have covered and the speed at all times. If you do not want to get all dressed and step out on a gloomy morning for a run, hiring a treadmill might be the smart option for you.