4 Reasons Running Outside Is Better Than on a Treadmill

man jogging in the street

While treadmills are great and all, it should not be your go-to way to get your run in. Sure, there is a time and place for treadmills. You cannot go outside and run when there is a thunderstorm going on. While you still can even in the rain, it is not something we recommend that you do. You will just put yourself at risk of slipping and injuring yourself or also getting sick. If the skies are clear, skip the treadmill and head outside instead. Here is why:

1. Burns more calories

Typically, running outside will require you to burn much more calories than running on a treadmill. That is because you are always fighting against resistances such as the wind, as well as making turns left and right. However, on a treadmill, the only resistance you will have is the incline you set on the treadmill. 

While some research, such as the one made by the Journal of Sports Sciences, has shown that an incline of one percent will help you burn the same number of calories, running outside is still so much better. Outside, you get to enjoy fresh hair, the warm sun, and an ever-changing environment that makes the activity all the more enjoyable.

2. Reduces risk of injury

Even though treadmills have been built to soften the impact your bones, tissues, and the rest of your legs have to deal with, it is not exactly something you want. That is because, if you keep training on treadmills, your bones will not be ready for actual running. In a sense, when you jump from treadmills straight into real running, you put yourself at a higher risk of injury. 

Of course, this also works the other way around. If you run outside a lot, your bones get the stimulation it needs to get stronger, allowing you to run, whether outside on a treadmill, much safer. 

3. Gives you more energy

Even if you have the same amount of energy going to a treadmill versus outside, you will always feel like you have more when going outdoors. Many factors help boost your mood and the likes, pumping your body full of motivation to run.

Think of it like this. Are you more motivated to run when on the beach or when you are sitting at home? For many of us, the former is true! What drives us to feel more energetic is our adventurous inner selves.

4. Strengthens your muscles more

There are a few reasons running on a treadmill will not enhance you as adequately as running outside. For example, you are not running on a treadmill like you would in real life. When you take a step forward on the machine, it is not you pulling back your legs but the equipment. For this reason, certain muscles such as your glutes do not receive the proper usage and, thus, exercise.

On the other hand, running outside utilizes your leg muscles and cores, strengthening them all and improving your overall fitness.


So, why should you run outside? For all of the reasons above! Now, the next time you are putting on your shoes for a run on the treadmill but notice that the outside is clear and cool, go out instead. You will thank yourself later for the wonderful and satisfying exercise you have just been through. The experience might just be so great that you will second guess whenever thinking about going on the treadmill.

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