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Treadmill vs Outdoor Running: Which one is Better

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We can all agree on the fact that paying attention to our health in this day and age is of utmost importance. Whether we are talking about busy city life or a relaxed rural lifestyle, a healthy diet and exercise should be an irreplaceable part of your daily routine. There have been a lot of activities that can be added to your exercise regime. Out of all, running is always a part of it.

Running is one of the proven methods to keep your health in check as it has a lot of positive impacts on various parts of your body. First of all, it prevents the generation of excess fat in your body, ultimately keeping you in shape. Other than that, you can also improve your stamina and avoid breathing disorders in the future.

There has been a long debate over indoor and outdoor running whether one is better than the other. Candidly, both running activities require a great workout and dedication, ultimately favoring your health. But, let’s try to understand both activities and discuss the advantages and limitations of both.

Running outside

All treadmills are inspired by outside roads from the very beginning. But still, an open road has an edge over man-made machines due to realistic conditions that require a harder effort as compared to machine-based exercise. One cannot simply imitate the texture of the real ground as well as the uncertainty of the terrain that requires much more attention while running outside.

Also, unlike running on a single spot, running outside also requires you to carry your own body weight forward. This should increase the overall movement of the body and help to reduce the fat much faster. Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of running outside in comparison with a treadmill.

Benefits of Running Outside

1. Be in touch with nature

While running outside, you get to be in touch with nature and get the fresh air with sunlight. Studies have shown these conditions turn out to be the most beneficial for a runner. It also offers you a chance to meet other people that share the same interests as you.

2. Real running experience

As we mentioned earlier, it is impossible to recreate a road or any outside terrain on a treadmill. Thus, you will be training your body with real outside conditions if you decide to run outside. This makes it perfect if you are looking forward to participating in some competition.

3. Variety in routine

The daily routine of running outside brings a lot of changes on an almost daily basis. You can always go to different paths and explore newer locations around you while running outside. Thus, it is certainly a better method of nearby exploration rather than cruising around on a bike.

4. Better health benefits

By running outside, you will be able to develop your body in a more natural way. You will also undergo changes in running as you will be doing various other activities alongside such as dodging or jumping which is not the case with a treadmill.

Limitations of Running Outside

1. Dependency on weather conditions

Let’s face the biggest problem of running outside which is the weather conditions. The weather changes throughout the year and it is mostly impossible to go outside in the rainy season for a run. Therefore, you will not be able to keep up with your schedule if the weather is bad.

2. Uncertainty of surroundings

While running outside, you need to be attentive at all times. Whether you are running on a street or an empty area, there is always a chance of vehicles moving past you or sudden changes in the track. To avoid these problems, you cannot lose focus while running outside.

3. Crowd in common places

Right now, almost all common running places such as gardens, judging tracks, and even common roads are filled with people in the optimum running time. In a heavily crowded place, it is impossible to run at a constant pace which is a necessity in judging.

4. Safety measures

If you are planning to go outside for a run, you need to select a perfect time when the roads are neither too crowded nor too quiet. If you live in a distant place where there are not many people living around you, going out on your own at night might be a problem.

When to Run Outside

As for running outside, you should be trying it out from the next morning right after you finish reading about it. The real experiences gained from running outside helps your body develop much faster and trains you for a real sport. Thus, most passionate as well as professional runners prefer going out for the run at least once a day.


In case you have found running outside a problem for your case by now, let us talk about the treadmills that can counter all of these limitations. In this era, there is always an option available, even if it is for a basic activity like running. A general treadmill imitates the real road as the motor-powered base slides off your feet once you start running over a treadmill.

The treadmill also gives you various options such as a change in running speed and some extra support for your hands. Some advanced machines also allow elevation to recreate uphill running. But, all these features come at a very high price point as treadmills are quite expensive.

Benefits of Treadmills

1. Close to real experience right in your home

The best benefit of using a treadmill for running is that you can get one yourself and exercise right at your home. In current conditions, only those who owned a treadmill have managed to keep themselves in shape throughout the year.

2. Run anytime on any day

Running on a treadmill is not dependent on outside conditions. Therefore, you can continue your training regime even if there is heavy rain or cold outside. This will help you get a better grasp of your routine and keep your physical and mental health in control.

3. Detailed monitoring of performance

Almost all treadmills offer detailed monitoring of your performance whether it is the distance you have travelled or simply the pace of your running. Some advanced options can also calculate the number of calories you have burned and track your progress along the way.

4. Safe and secure routine

Running on a treadmill is perfectly safe as there are no external factors that affect your performance. Unlike while running outside, you can listen to your favorite music, watch a tv show episode, and any other content without needing to be attentive to your surroundings.

Limitations of Treadmills

1. Absence of natural elements

The biggest advantage of running on a treadmill rather than running outside is the absence of natural elements. Unless you have a large balcony where you can place the treadmill, you cannot experience the fresh air and sunlight in the morning while running.

2. Running on the same terrain

While different treadmills do offer different experiences, you cannot get a newer experience of running with the same treadmill. After a significant period of time, running on a treadmill gets really boring and pushes you away from keeping up this great habit.

3. No variety in exercise

Unlike running on the actual road, you can close your eyes while running on a treadmill. This does not train you for any real running based sport whatsoever. The treadmill exercise simply burns a lesser amount of calories as you are not physically moving from one point to another.

4. High initial investment

Treadmills come at a very expensive price tag due to their complicated structure and various different components installed in them. If you want more features, you will have to take a look at even more expensive variants. In contrast to this, running outside is completely free of cost.

When to Use a Treadmill

If you cannot spend time going outside every day and want to stay in shape, a treadmill is an ideal choice for you. In case you put your hands on a highly advanced machine, you will be able to closely monitor your performance and make the changes that are necessary. These can be the hours you spend running or changes in diet to get the required results much faster.


You must have heard a lot of debates by now about which running option is the best. For most people, running is merely an exercise that eventually becomes a habit. As this habit deals with the health of an individual, you should be really careful about which option you are going to prefer. As for sportsperson, running is more than just an exercise and they need to dedicate more time and effort to their performance.

If you are confused between these two options as well, we will suggest you to start running outside from the earliest. As you will not be investing anything for the activity, you can always get assurance whether it is fit for you or not. If you find it to be unsuitable for you, you can always invest in a decent treadmill later on

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