Most people go for running exercises as a way to burn calories and lose excess fat. Running is one of the easiest exercises since you can do it anywhere. You just a pair of running sneakers and you are good to go. Also, running lowers the risk of heart diseases, strengthens joints, and reduces stress.
According to John Porcari, PhD., Director of the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin, “You most likely burn about 3-7% more calories when running outside than on a treadmill”. This is because, when running outside, you are likely to experience wind resistance unlike when running on the moving belt.
Moreover, the amount of calories you burn while running outside also depends on your speed, change in incline levels, and the wind resistance you are dealing with. Also, the temperatures you’re running at will influence the number of calories you burn.
For instance, you are likely to burn more calories when running on hot weather. This is because, under hot conditions, your body will pump more blood to the skin to lower the heat you have built up while running. Thus, you will burn more calories. However, running on very hot weather exposes you to risks such as severe sunburns, overheating, and dehydration.
Running exercises have the following benefits
- Strengthens the leg muscles and tones them
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Helps in burning excess fats
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases the bone density hence reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Helps in the digestion process
- Reduces stress and improves mood
- Roads and pavements are perfect for beginners.
- You work more muscles
However, running exercises may involve the use of equipment like treadmills or run outdoors. The main question most people ask themselves is; Are there running conditions that can help you burn more calories than others? For instance, are you likely to burn more calories when running outside on a hot summer than on an indoor treadmill? The answer is yes. You are likely to burn more calories while running outside than when running on a treadmill.
Benefits of using a treadmill
1. No weather constraints
One of the major benefits of using a treadmill is that weather conditions will not affect you. Whether it is the winter or the summer, you can use the treadmill comfortably without experiencing the harsh weather conditions. Moreover, the treadmill saves you the risk and the discomfort of running in the snow and ice.
Also, you are not exposed to the risk of overheating and dehydration from running in very hot weather. Whether it is raining or snowing outside, you will still work out comfortably on the treadmill. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about applying sunscreen or overdressing while using the treadmill.
2. You can simulate race conditions
Treadmills allow you to simulate some race conditions. For instance, if you are training to run on a hilly terrain you can set the treadmill hills at the right points.
Also, if your race will be on warm weather, you can set the treadmill runs to a warm environment so that you get familiarized. Also, you can run on an incline on the treadmill to improve endurance and increase strength.
3. Very convenient
Home treadmills are very convenient. You can run at any time you wish. Whether the weather is bad or its night time, you can conveniently use them. Thus, they are more convenient than running outside since you cannot run outside at night or in bad weather.
4. Easy on your joints
Treadmills come with a smooth and cushioned surface. The cushioned surfaces have a better shock absorption that hard surface. Therefore, there is less stress exerted on your ankles, knees, and joints.
5. Good for someone recovering from an injury
Training on a treadmill is perfect for a person recovering from an injury. This is because you can control your pace and stop anytime you want. Additionally, the treadmill keeps a track of your mileage and pace.
Hence, you can pick up from where you left to complete your paces for the day. Additionally, you can use the paces to push yourself to reach your day’s goal.
6. You can multitask
When on a treadmill, it is possible to watch the television or listen to music unlike when running outside. Also, you will not have to worry about getting a running partner since you can do it alone and at any time at your house.
Disadvantages of using a treadmill for your running exercises
1. You may get hurt
Although considered safe, you can still get treadmill related injuries. When used inappropriately, they may cause sprains, and falls that could result in head injuries. Also, in rare cases, they may lead to cardiovascular problems when the user pushes themselves too hard.
2. You cannot do downhill exercise
Almost all treadmills have an uphill incline feature. However, most do not have a downhill incline feature that would help you strengthen your anterior tibialis muscles.
3. It can be monotonous
Running on the treadmill for a long time can not only be tedious but also boring. Unless you switch on your TV to help kill the boredom, it can be monotonous running at the same place. On the other hand, you are unlikely to get bored running outside since there are a lot of things to see.
Outside running includes running on pavement, trail, or a road. It also involves interacting with the outdoors
Here are the benefits of running outside
1. It’s free
You will not need a gym membership to run outside. Also, you can do it when you want since you are not limited by a schedule or the availability of gym machines.
2. Improves Stability
Running outside involves running on different terrains and surfaces. Therefore, as you navigate through the changing terrain, you are likely to improve your stability.
3. A perfect way to train for road races
Running outside trains your muscles to run in different terrains. Therefore, it is a perfect way to train if you are training for a race. Also, it helps your body adapt to changes in weather conditions.
4. Great way to check out new places
While visiting a new place, running outside will offer you a great opportunity to check out the new surroundings. Usually, the hotel you are staying in will suggest nearby routes where you can run. You will have a chance to enjoy nature and breathe fresh air. Thus, it will offer you great relaxation.
5. You burn more calories
When running outside, you are likely to encounter different terrains and wind resistance. The extra effort you use to overcome the resistance helps you burn extra calories.
6. Vitamin D
Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency coms with health issues such as a weakened immune system and poor bone density. Therefore, running outside comes with the benefit of sunlight exposure which benefits your body with Vitamin D.
Disadvantages of running outside
1. Risk of injury
When running outside, you are at a higher risk of falling and injuring your knee or ankle. Due to the different terrains and possible presence of obstacles in your running path, you can easily fall and injure yourself. Also, you are at a higher risk of getting involved in accidents with cars, cyclists, animals, or attackers.
2. Affected by weather conditions
Running outside is dependent on weather conditions. During heavy rains or snow, it is risky to run outside. Also, as night falls, it becomes impossible to run outside. Contrarily, using a treadmill is not affected by the weather conditions and you can exercise at any time.
Running on different terrains requires a lot of effort. Therefore, you use more muscles to propel your body forward when running in rough terrains unlike on a treadmill. Thus, running outdoors improves ankle flexibility and increases leg muscle strength.
Common mistakes to avoid when using a treadmill
The proper use of the treadmill is important to prevent strain, pain, and injury. Here are tips to correctly use the treadmill and achieve your fitness goals
1. Get on the treadmill when is at a slow speed
Always clip the safety stop cord onto your body so that in case you stumble, it will stop the treadmill
2. Increase the speed smoothly after you have gotten on the treadmill
Avoid holding the handrail. This will prevent you from maintaining a good walking posture and may cause staining. However, if you have balance issues or are recovering from an injury, continue using the handrail.
Best treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners
Using the treadmill is a great way to help you lose weight. However, despite helping you lose weight, this exercise machine has other benefits too. Here are treadmill workouts to lose weight for beginners
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
This workout involves alternating high-intensity workouts with rest. Thus, it is an effective way of losing body fat and burning calories within a short period. On a treadmill, you can achieve this by alternating jogging and sprinting. Also, ensure that your resting intervals are two times longer than your high-intensity intervals.
2. Switch up your routine
Using the same routine day in day out may not help much in your weight loss goal. This is because your body will adjust to the routine. Therefore, try doing a different workout routine every time possible. Additionally, repeating the same routine may cause stress to your joints and result in an overuse injury. Challenge your body each time to progress. Also, it prevents boredom and repetitiveness.
3. Simulate hills on your treadmill
Walking or jogging in an incline will help you burn more calories. This is because your body will work harder when running on an inclined treadmill. Also, it will strengthen your leg muscles and joints.