Running On A Treadmill Or Outdoors, Which Is Better?

Running On A Treadmill Or Outdoors, Which Is Better?

Running is a widely followed activity across the world. Millions of people enthusiastically run every day to get fit or stay fit.

While people choose to run every day, many runners have differing opinions on the question: Is it better to run outside or on a treadmill?

When it comes to running, outdoor runners feel monotonous and boring running on a treadmill whereas indoor runners feel comfortable with a steady environment.

But when you go deeper into the facts, both are highly effective for your health and have their pros and cons.

In this article, we will dwell in detail on the pros and cons of treadmill and outdoor running.

Treadmill running

A treadmill is an electronic equipment with a controllable rotating belt. You can use a treadmill at any gym or purchase one yourself from the stores or online.

Pros of treadmill running

  • The biggest advantage of treadmill running is its accessibility. You can use a treadmill at a time convenient for you irrespective of any climate.
  • The treadmill is equipped with multiple functions like speed, incline, interval count etc.
  • Many treadmills come with calorie burn data which helps to motivate to exercise more.

Cons of treadmill running

  • Outdoor running will give you a feel of natural vegetation that indoor run lacks. Indoor running is limited to a fixed place where the treadmill is placed.
  • Running on a treadmill does not train you for practical scenarios. While running outdoors train your plantar muscles for practical scenarios.
  • Some treadmill runners complain about knee pain after continuous running on a treadmill, whereas running on a grassy surface is extremely beneficial for your knee joints.

Outdoor running

Outdoor running includes running on a road, trail, side paths, mountains etc.

Pros of outdoor running

  • Outdoor running is more practical as you face uneven surfaces on the road.
  • Outdoor running is more enjoyable because of the changing scenery, fresh air and unlimited options for running routes.
  • Outdoor running challenges your knee and ankle joints more practically compared to a treadmill.

Cons of outdoor running

  • Weather is the major challenging factor for outdoor runners. Extreme heat makes you dehydrated and cold weather makes you fall sick.
  • Running at night is challenging for outdoor runners whereas you can use a treadmill at your convenient time.
  • In outdoor running or walking you’ve to keep your eyes on your surroundings for safety whereas the treadmill is safe.

Which is better for weight loss?

Any exercise that you enjoy is good for weight loss.

Running, weight training or playing any sport all are good for losing weight. What is more important for weight loss is calorie deficit i.e. burn more and consume less.

Instead of losing weight only, one should focus on the overall development of their body. A well-designed workout regime that includes all forms of exercise is necessary for overall development.

A two-day cardio activity, two-day weight training and one-day flexibility training followed by two days of rest is one of the best workout regimes for an individual. You can modify it according to your goals.


Running is an extremely high-calorie burning workout. Running outdoors and running on a treadmill have their pros and cons. What you choose is up to you and your goals, but both will benefit you physically and mentally.

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