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The Pros and Cons of Running on a Treadmill vs Outdoors: Which is the best for you?

When it comes to running, there are two primary options: treadmill and outdoor running. Each has its pros and cons, and the choice between the two but, which is best for you.

If you value convenience, a controlled environment, and reduced joint impact, a treadmill may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy fresh air, scenic routes, and a variety of terrain, outdoor running may be more appealing. Whether to run on a treadmill or outdoors is a personal choice that depends on your preferences and circumstances. Both treadmill running and outdoor running can provide a great workout, so it is worth trying both to see which one you enjoy more.

Let's explore the benefits and drawbacks of both options to help you make an informed decision on which one to choose.

Treadmill Running

Lets take a look at the advantages and drawbacks of treadmills.

Advantages of running on a treadmill


One of the most significant advantages of running on a treadmill is the convenience factor. Treadmills can be found in most gyms and fitness centres, and many people have one in their home. This makes it easy to fit a workout in, even on busy days or during rainy days.

Controlled Environment

Another benefit of treadmill running is the ability to control the environment. You can adjust the speed, incline, and even the temperature to suit your needs. This can be especially helpful for those with allergies or asthma, as you can avoid outdoor allergens.

Reduced Impact

Treadmills also offer a more forgiving surface to run on, reducing the impact on your joints. This can be particularly beneficial for those with knee or ankle issues.

Disadvantages of treadmill running

It can be Boring

One of the biggest drawbacks of running on a treadmill is the potential for boredom. Running in the same place, staring at the same wall, can quickly become dull and uninspiring.

Lack of Terrain Variety

Treadmills are also limited in terms of terrain variety. You can't replicate the hills and valleys of an outdoor run, which can lead to a less challenging workout.


Treadmills can be quite expensive, especially if you want one with advanced features like incline and heart rate monitoring.

Outdoor Running

Let’s take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of outdoor running.

Advantages of Outdoor Running

Fresh Air and Scenery

One of the most significant benefits of outdoor running is the fresh air and scenery. Running outside allows you to enjoy nature and breathe in fresh air, which can be energising.

Terrain Variety

Outdoor running offers a greater variety of terrain, which can make for a more challenging and engaging workout. Hills, trails, and even stairs can add an extra level of difficulty to your run.

Mental Health Benefits

Studies have shown that outdoor exercise, including running, can have a positive impact on mental health. Exposure to nature and natural light can boost mood and reduce stress.

Disadvantages of Outdoor Running

Weather Dependence

One of the biggest drawbacks of outdoor running is weather unpredictability. Running in extreme temperatures, rain, or snow can be uncomfortable or even dangerous.

Safety Concerns

Outdoor running can also present safety concerns, particularly for those who run alone or in isolated areas. Runners should always be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to stay safe.

Joint Impact

Outdoor running can be more impactful on your joints, particularly if you are running on concrete or pavement.

Which is Better

The best option for you will depend on your personal preferences, envirenment and fitness goals. If you are looking for a low-impact workout with consistent conditions, a treadmill may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a challenging workout that provides a change of scenery, outdoor running may be the way to go.

It is important to note that both treadmill running and outdoor running can be effective forms of exercise, and that choosing one over the other is a matter of personal preference. If you are not sure which option is right for you, consider trying both and seeing which one you enjoy more.


The decision to run on a treadmill or outdoors comes down to personal preference and individual circumstances. Each option has its pros and cons, and both can provide a great workout.

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