If you enjoy a regular run like me, you must have found yourself wondering at some point which is better. Running on the Treadmill Vs Street Running. Both are excellent cardio workouts.
They both raise your heart’s pumping rate and get your blood flowing fast. You get all the benefits of a cardio exercise from both but the question remains. Could running on the treadmill be better than running outdoors on the street.
What is a Cardio workout anyway?
A cardio workout also known as aerobic exercise is a workout where you repeatedly move you body’s big muscles at a fast pace such that your body requires a large amount of oxygen to produce instant energy for the muscles.
This causes your heart to pump harder and faster for the blood system to quickly move oxygen from the lungs to the muscular system.
The blood flows faster for a quicker delivery of oxygen which is used to burn carbohydrates to produce energy for the muscles at work.
A quick look at the benefits of Cardio
1. Fat Burning & Weight Loss
When doing a cardio workout the body will first burn the carbohydrates you have taken.
When the carbs are finished you body will turn to stored fat deposits to burn them for instant energy. You start losing weight as the fat deposits will get depleted.
2. Strong Heart
The heart is made up of muscular tissue. As you workout and your heart beats harder and faster it grows stronger since it is made up of muscular tissue.
Any muscle that is subjected to strenuous work will grow stronger to overcome the strain.
3. Reduced Blood Pressure
Your blood vessels become enlarged as you are doing the cardio workout to accommodate the higher volumes of blood being pumped by the heart.
After the workout your blood vessels reduce in size back to normal as blood volumes decrease.
With time as you continue with your workouts your blood vessels become flexible from enlarging and contracting. They become used to accommodating any volume of blood and your blood pressure reading drops to normal levels
Uncontrolled high blood pressure causes stroke, heart disease, heart attack and kidney failure.
4. Clears Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy like substance that sticks to the walls of the blood vessels clogging the smooth flow of blood. This causes the risk of heart disease, chest pains and organ failure as they fail to get enough oxygenated blood.
Since a cardio workout raises your heart rate and gets your blood flowing faster, the fast flow of blood assists in the transportation of the waxy like bad cholesterol from the blood system to the liver which flushes it out
5. Improves Bone Strength
Running puts your bones under stress from the impact. Bones behave like muscular tissue. When put under stress they respond by pulling more calcium from the body, reforming and rebuilding to overcome the stress.
As a result you get a stronger bone structure from running.
6. Mood Booster – Runners High
Running causes the release of mood boosting endorphin hormones in the body. Endorphins are the body’s stress and depression fighting hormones that will leave you feeling better with an elevated mood.
With regular running you are better able to handle stressful situations and depression.
7. Improves Brain Health
The brain is one organ that needs a vast supply of oxygen to function well. The brain has very small blood vessels that run through it and running causes blood to flow better in these small capillaries.
When more oxygen reach the brain cells you are able to think better and solve problems better. Runners are smart thinkers.
8. Longer Healthy Life
Since running chases away a lot of diseases. The end result is it adds years to your life. When you run regularly you live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.
The cardio workout in running improves the overall function of your body. Your body is better able to regulate all the hormones for different functions in the body.
Aim to run regularly for better health and a better quality of life
A treadmill is a good piece of home gym equipment for a running cardio. It’s also excellent for weight loss and control as pointed out in the benefits of cardio workouts.
Owning a treadmill at home is a step closer to achieving your fitness goals. If the treadmill does not come with a workout plan, come up with one for yourself.
Getting the treadmill is the first step, planning your workouts is the second step. Set goals of what exactly you want to achieve. Put your workouts up on a weekly chart.
The third step is the execution. Stick to your plans and work hard to achieve your goals
Pros for running on a Treadmill
1. You do not have to go out to run. You can safely run in the comfort of your home
2. If you stay in an area with flat roads and slopes, most of the treadmills come with adjustable incline. You can run at high incline simulating running uphill. It increases the difficulty level of the exercise.
3. No risk of getting run over by vehicles on the road.
4. You can run anytime you feel like it, even in the middle of the night.
5. You can run even when there is bad weather outside, when its raining or snowing
6. A treadmill comes with a tracking monitor to track your workout. The monitor tracks calories burned, distance covered, speed and total mileage you have run.
7. The modern treadmills come with in built computers with a touch screen monitor. The computer has programmed workout plans to choose from. Through the computer you get access to on demand interactive training programs and you can join fitness classes with other members.
8. The computer records all your workout history which you can download on demand
9. Some treadmills are fitted with built in workout fans that deliver a cool breeze as you workout.
10. Some treadmills are foldable after use you fold it into the storage cupboard
11. Some treadmills play music for your workout pleasure. You plug in your earphones or connect by Bluetooth.
12. The treadmill is fitted with shock absorbers offering better impact for your knees and joints.
13. The whole family can use the treadmill. It encourages a culture of working out.
The Cons for Running on the Treadmill
1. It’s a machine. It can breakdown and you are forced to stop your routines
2. Expensive to buy. Especially when you go for the high end tech advanced models which go for up to $2 000
3. Needs servicing. Extra costs for maintenance
4. Most of the models need electrical power to work.
5. Needs workout space and storage space in the house
Running out on the Streets
Outdoor running has its own benefits and advantages over indoor running on the treadmill. At times, it just feels good to get out and go to pound the pavement.
This is especially good when you have been working from home or working in the office closed up the whole day. You feel like going out for some fresh air and getting a good run.
Running outdoors is quite addictive. When you get used to it you cannot go for long periods without missing your outdoor runs
The Pros for Street Running
1. The call of the fresh air outside. Especially at the end of the day when you have been working in a closed room the whole day
2. Running outdoors is not expensive. Just grab your running gear and you are good to go. No expensive treadmills.
3. The feel of the sun on your skin. The good dose of vitamin D is good for overall health as you run out in the sun
4. You can run with your spouse, friends or as a group to encourage and motivate each other.
5. You can easily change the routes to make your runs interesting.
6. Outdoors the terrain is unstable and uneven. You get to engage stabilizer muscles to keep balance unlike on the treadmill
7. The scenery and visuals will lift your mood and help you to keep calm
8. Good for when you are preparing for races and marathons
The Cons for Street Running
1. You are at the mercy of the weather. When the weather is bad you cannot go out to run.
2. You risk getting hit by vehicles on the road. You have to put on bright reflective clothing especially as it starts to get dark.
3. The impact of the ground under your feet is bad for your knees and joints over time.
4. You need a separate fitness tracker for tracking your essential metrics. The treadmill tracks on its own
5. You cannot run outside at night. On the treadmill anytime is tea time.
6. You have to control your own running program. No preset programs like on the treadmill
There is no winner or loser here. Judgment on this matter is reserved indefinitely. This is a matter of personal preference.
Some people will prefer indoor running whilst some prefer outdoor running on the streets. Our aim here was to highlight the pros and cons of each method of running.
At the end of the day with either indoor or outdoor running, you get your cardio workout and enjoy all the health benefits of exercise.
It would be good to use both methods if you can manage to get the treadmill. There are times when the weather prevents you from going outside to run.
In this case you can continue with your runs indoors. This often happens in winter. You can get back to enjoy the outdoor runs when back in summer.
Combine your runs with other body weight exercises for good muscle strength. After the run you can can continue to workout with exercises where you use your body weight.
>> click here for our Body Weight Exercise Routines <<
If you manage, get some home gym accessories to add variety to your workouts. You do not have to go running each and everyday.
On days that you do not run you can exercise with the accessories to improve muscular strength and spice up your workouts.
>> click here for our Home Gym Accessories Review <<
The accessories are also good for when you are travelling. You can throw these into your luggage or car boot. This will allow you to continue working out as you are away from home
Aim to make regular running a habit and a lifestyle. It adds years to your life and adds life to your years.
Please leave a comment in the comments section. If you have any questions or need to engage, do not hesitate to write in the comments section. I will definitely get back to you.
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