Walking Outdoors vs. The Treadmill

Walking on a treadmill.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

Inside or Outside

When I wanted to begin a healthy lifestyle, I decided to buy a treadmill. I loved its convenience since it was only steps away from my bedroom, and I appreciated that I didn’t have to deal with the Texas heat while getting a workout in. While those reasons made the treadmill a better option for me, not everyone has the same experience. Continue reading to discover why anyone might prefer one over the other.

Walking Outdoors


Burn More Calories

There are more natural obstacles that you may encounter when walking outside. For example, you can encounter wind resistance and bumpy terrain. Each of these aspects will cause you to exert more energy and burn more calories than if you were walking on a controlled treadmill.

Strengthen Various Muscles

As mentioned in the previous point, you can encounter some different terrain when walking outside. Because of this, you are more prone to working out muscles that improve balance and core strength. If you live in a hilly area, you can work on the glute and quadriceps muscles.

Improve Your Mood

Many studies confirm the benefits of green exercise. One study found that exercising in nature was related to better emotional well-being. It also gives you a chance to catch your breath away from screens and stress.


Tough surfaces

If you currently have joint issues, walking on hard pavement can exert extra stress on your knees, ankles, and other joints.

Safety. Not every neighborhood has a walkable path. It can also be tough with dogs and other obstacles.

Weather. If you live in a less-than-ideal climate, it may be best to avoid walking outdoors.



Control of the Workout

Most treadmills come with pre-programmed workouts. They can be set to interval training or simulate hills. Additionally, treadmills monitor your heart rate, calories burned, and average speed. You can use these statistics as a reference for your future workouts.

Faster Walking

On a treadmill, you can walk a long distance in a short time compared to walking outdoors. Inside there are fewer obstacles and no need to start and stop when walking outdoors. More speed equals walking a longer distance and burning more calories in a set amount of time.

Convenient Entertainment

It can be dangerous to have earphones in when walking outdoors. However, you can listen to music, watch movies, and even read a book while walking on a treadmill. Having those distractions available can make time fly by.


Limited Muscle Strengthening

Although most treadmills offer an incline option, they cannot simulate a downhill motion. Walking downhill can strengthen the anterior tibialis muscles and soleus muscles. If you’re training for a specific event, you will be unable to work out all the necessary muscles.

A Pricier Option

Whether you buy a treadmill for your home or pay a monthly gym subscription, a treadmill will cost more than simply walking outside in nature.

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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