There are many benefits to running. It is a great way to build a strong, lean and muscular body. In addition, it can improve your heart health and help you lose weight. People that run regularly enjoy better mental health, improved mood and increased energy for other aspects of their lives.
Many runners feel quite strongly about either running outdoors or running on a treadmill. For those who prefer the outdoors, running on a treadmill is usually seen as a last resort. It is thought as a secondary option for those wanting to get fit but are not able to leave the house as easily or often as they would like.
However, there are many benefits to running on a treadmill that could make it your top choice when aiming to get fit. In this article, we take a look at three surprising benefits of running on a treadmill as opposed to outdoors.
1. Provides an Even Surface
You may think that running on uneven ground outdoors can help you become a stronger runner. However, while this may have its benefits, it may actually cause you more problems and interfere with your fitness goals.
The chance of twisting your ankle or hyper-extending your knee is higher on uneven ground and may leave you immobile while you recover. This may force you to be sedentary - the very thing you were hoping to avoid!
Conversely, running on a treadmill offers you a flat and even surface to run on. Due to this, even if you are recovering from an injury, it is an easier and less risky way of training. Moreover, you can simulate any type of running environment you want, whether it’s challenging hill runs or more gentle flat jogs, all the while ensuring that it is even and safe.
There have been some scary stories of people suffering severe injuries from tripping and falling while running. So, having peace of mind that it won’t happen to you is an obvious advantage of using treadmills over running outdoors.
2. Easier to Track Your Posture & Progress
In the gym, treadmills are often located in front of mirrors. This gives you greater self-awareness and helps you to adapt your running habits. If you are someone who struggles to lift their knees or keep a straight back, running on a treadmill in front of a mirror will make you acutely aware of your posture and keep it in check.
In addition to how you run, you can also track exactly how far you go without the need for a GPS-enabled device. You’ll easily see what gradient you are running on and how far you have climbed on a hill run.
Furthermore, most treadmills also have a built-in heart rate monitor so you can gauge your exertion and fitness levels. It can help you analyze exactly how much effort you need to exert to achieve a specific heart rate zone as well as monitor your progress over time.
If you are training with specific goals in mind then using a treadmill is the perfect way to tailor your workouts to achieve them.
3. No Obstacles or Distractions
Many people think of treadmill running as boringly monotonous. However, this can be a huge plus if you enjoy the focus that this opportunity offers you.
When running outdoors, there can be a lot of distractions and obstacles in the form of cars and people. There is nothing worse than having to come to a complete stop mid-run because the traffic lights have turned green or having to decrease your speed to give way to other pedestrians.
For focused training and running, a treadmill offers you the ability to just switch on the machine and run at your leisure. It can also prevent you from slowing down since you are forced to keep up with it unless you manually change the settings.
Running is great for health and fitness as it offers a wide variety of benefits. In addition to improving heart health, it can make you stronger, leaner and boost your overall mood.
Whilst running on a treadmill is not viewed positively by all runners, it can offer you some surprising advantages. The even surface reduces the risk of injury while the ability to control your environment, pace and gradient helps you get the most from your workouts.
Moreover, treadmills enable you to easily observe your running habits and posture so you can adapt your running style accordingly and meet your goals.
Protip: Don't forget to drink alkaline water while running on a treadmill. Alkaline water absorbs more quickly into your cells and hydrates you faster than any other form of water.