Treadmill vs. Outside: Which Running is Better?

Treadmill or Outside Running?

There are millions of enthusiastic, well-informed runners in the world. Running enthusiasts have differing ideas about one key question: is it preferable to run outdoors or on a treadmill?

Both schools of thought adherents are passionate runners. On the other hand, treadmill users could like jogging in a regulated setting, while other outside runners find the treadmill workout repetitive and dull.

Thankfully, there are advantages to both kinds of running.

To assist you in selecting the best option, this write-up weighs the benefits and drawbacks of both outdoor and treadmill jogging.

Treadmill Running

A running machine, or treadmill, is an athletic device that allows users to run or jog on an elastic band that rotates under supervision. Numerous fitness centers have running machines, or you can buy one for yourself via the web or in shops.


  • Accessibility: The easy availability of treadmills is one of their main benefits. You may utilize machines whenever you want and in any weather because the majority are within. For people who work out at nighttime or reside in areas where the climate is constantly changing, this may render jogging easier to do.
  • Features: The majority of treadmill runners take pleasure in the many features that the machine can provide, including accurate control over their speed, tilt, and periods.
  • Recovery: Those recuperating from injuries can also benefit from this, as they can advance gradually in an increasingly regulated setting on a running machine. For instance, uneven footing and slick pavements may make running outdoors riskier for individuals recovering from a fractured ankle.
  • Beneficial for joints: Ultimately, since modern treadmills feature padded ribbons to lessen some of the effects, riding on one may be beneficial for the cartilage in your knees. Hard surfaces, such as pavements and highways, on the other hand, won’t. The majority of studies disprove the myth that jogging damages the knees or joints.


  • Sticking to a place: Residential treadmill exercise means remaining in a set location where the running machine is situated, in contrast to outdoor jogging, which allows you to run amid trees or other lovely surroundings. Some claim that in time, this may get monotonous.
  • Divergent outcomes: On the other hand, a lot of contemporary treadmills have displays that replicate an outdoor flee, which could improve the senses. However, a lot of people contend that this can never compare to running outside. Furthermore, when comparing muscle activation during treadmill running versus outside jogging, one study yields contradictory results. 
  • Low Muscle Activity: While certain research studies found no distinction, others detected lower muscle contractions when using a treadmill. This could be because the treadmill strip is pushing you forward and making it just a little bit simpler for you to continue moving.
  • Limited Features: The restricted features of the treadmill cause numerous runners to experience a less lengthy and natural stance when using it. That being said, there is disagreement on this. There are no discernible changes in stride length between running outside and on a running machine, according to research.
  • The Expenditure: Lastly, the expense of using a treadmill is one of its main drawbacks. You can rent a treadmill at a fitness center for as little as $10 every month, but buying your machine can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of euros.

Outdoor Running

Jogging outside on a path, route, walkway, or whatever other kind of outside surface is known as ambient jogging.


  • Wide-Range of Features: Because there are so many more jogging path alternatives, fresh air, challenging terrain, and ever-changing landscapes when running outside, many people consider outdoor running to be significantly better than running on a machine.
  • Health Advantages: An individual’s motivation to keep up their exercise regimen may rise due to more diversity. While running outside and on a treadmill both have health advantages, including lowered cholesterol levels, increased stamina, and a decreased risk of depressive disorders, outdoor running may also have extra advantages because it fosters a stronger sense of connection to the natural world.
  • Scientific Discovery: It’s interesting to note that a study discovered that committing to at least 30 minutes every week in outside green spaces, like parks and woods, can reduce arterial blood pressure by 9% and depressive disorders by 7%. 
  • Variety of obstacles: You can also strengthen your balance and engage different muscle groups by jogging outside, given the variety of terrain and obstacles you may face. Running up mountains, leaping over swamps, and evading other path users are a few examples of possible activities.
  • Strength for bones: Furthermore, because you’re jogging on tougher terrain outside, research suggests that running might strengthen your bones. Increased gravitational pull and strain on the skeleton are made possible by this, and this is crucial for the functioning of bones.
  • Affordable for Everyone: Lastly, if you don’t include the expense of running sneakers and exercise equipment, running outside is gratuitous. All income levels can now more easily participate in running.



  • Weather Conditions: Running outside is best done in dry, relatively warm weather. In contrast, conditions such as rain, snow, and high or low temperatures make it less desirable and dangerous. You can run outside in the majority of weather situations if you prepare, train, and wear suitable gear.
  • Dehydration: Furthermore, running in extremely hot or cold temperatures can make you more susceptible to exhaustion. If you’re not replenishing and donning the appropriate gear, this might be fatal.
  • Risk of Damage: Lastly, running at nighttime can be risky and raises the chance of damage. If you decide to venture out at night, make sure you have a headlight and clothes that bounce light on your body. Inform another person of your intended homecoming time and where to go. Even better, make a jogging partner.

Crucial Points to Remember

  • Jogging securely is essential, regardless of whether you choose to run outside or on a running machine.
  • Consult a medical physician before beginning a new fitness regimen, particularly if you have an ongoing medical condition like cardiovascular disease.
  • Excessive vigor when beginning an exercise regimen can result in injuries or rare but severe consequences like heart failure.
  • Additionally, confirm that you’re getting adequate calories.
  • Marathon runners and people following extremely reduced-calorie diets have been found to have more fragile bones in examinations. This is probably because their bodies don’t get enough calories to rebuild their bones over time.
  • For a good recuperation, it is crucial to eat sufficient calories and give yourself adequate time off in between runs, whether you run outside or on a treadmill.

The suggestion

The finest running is the kind you appreciate and can stick with over time.

There are numerous advantages to running, including a decreased chance of long-term illness and enhanced mental well-being, regardless of whether you choose to run outside or on a treadmill.

The greatest kind of jogging for you will rely on your tastes, surroundings, and financial situation. If you’re not sure, attempt to run outside as well as on a treadmill, or switch between both of them.

Running is incredibly good for your physical and mental well-being in both scenarios.

The Ultimate Line

Both outdoor running and treadmill exercise have benefits and drawbacks.

Running is good for you physically and psychologically, whether you decide to do it outdoors or on a treadmill.

The kind of activity that you adore and will continue over time is the greatest for you.

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