Running is one of the best and most efficient forms of aerobic exercise.

Those who do it on a occasion come to realize just how beneficial it can be and for those who do it more frequently, it simply becomes a way of life.

Aside from the health benefits, another aspect to consider is its simplicity.

Running is simple and all that’s required are a pair of running shoes.

Just slip them on and step out the door.

The question that is often asked is which is better, treadmills or running outside?

The biomechanics are basically the same according to some experts.

According to an article written in, physiologist Reed Ferber, indicates that there are very little differences in the biomechanics of a treadmill compared to outdoor running.

In another study, Casey Kerrigan, MD, founder of OESH Shoes, who had spent years researching walking and running biomechanics had reached the same conclusion.

Some experts say that treadmills and running outdoors share similar health benefits, however, running outside does possess a few health and psychological advantages.

Research has shown that being outdoors improves peoples mental state and helps reduce stress along with helping your your body soak up Vitamin D.

Being indoors tends to get monotonous unless you have the television on.

All in all, running outdoors or using the treadmill is a matter of preference.

If you prefer to exercise from the comforts of home, get a treadmill but if you enjoy the outdoors, go running.

The health advantages between the two aren’t significant enough to say one is better than the other but if you still can’t decide or you’re looking for some more comparisons between two, we’ve added 7 additional differences for you put together in a small infographic.


  1. Weather

One of the greatest advantages of treadmills have over running outdoors is being able to run without concern for the weather.  Who cares about the rain, snow, or heat, just hop on the treadmill, turn on the television and work out.

Unless of course,  you’re one of those who are incredibly dedicated and smile at the face of a rain storm.

  1. Safety

As enjoyable as it is to jog outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, we all know that it’s not always safe.  From idiot drivers to loose dogs, there’s a number of dangers you need to be wary of, especially if you jog alone or at night.  It’s always advisable to pair up with someone and to wear something bright or reflecting for nighttime runs.

If you got a treadmill then you can simply jog from the safety and comforts of your own home.

  1. Coarse

Treadmills allow you to create and customize your own work out.  Just program it to your preference or just change it during your run.

Running outdoors allows you to pick and choose your coarse on a whim as opposed to having to setting it manually and waiting for the platform to incline.  You also become accustomed to different types of terrain as opposed to a walking belt.

  1. Monitor Your Progress

Treadmills track and conveniently display your progress right in front of you.  Monitor your distance, speed, heart rate, or calories that’s all available right at the tips of your finger tips.

The calorie data should not be relied upon, however.  Studies have shown that the calorie count discrepancy could be as much as 20% or more.  The heart rate appears to be relatively correct and the distance and speed is accurate provided that the machine is well maintained.

Portable monitors like the new fitness trackers (watches) appear to be the latest craze among fitness gurus.  Runners can monitor their heart rate, keep track of their distance, and have other cool fitness related and non-fitness related functions all wrapped up in a fashionable wrist watch.

  1. Price

If you’ve been shopping for treadmills, then you know that they can get pretty pricey.  A good, commercial quality model can set you back a thousand dollars or more but will provide you with years of continuous use.  Outdoor running, on the other hand, only requires a decent pair of running shoes unless you like to look good and elect to buy some fashionable running wear.

  1. Which Burns More Calories?

Some studies have shown running with a slight advantage in terms of burning calories but by increasing the treadmill’s incline slightly, you’ll compensate for the lack of resistance.

Weight, metabolism, age, gender, and body type are some key factors to take into account when it comes to determining caloric expenditure.  Treadmills only take a few of those pieces of information into account such as weight, age, or pace.  So, what you end up with is a best guess estimate.

  1. I Need a Bathroom

Anyone who runs consistently has at one point or another experienced the need of having to go pee or worse … you know.  For men, it’s relatively simple to stop a bush real quickly and let it go but for women, it may be a bit difficult.  Either way, you need to find somewhere to relieve yourself.

The advantage clearly goes to the treadmill with this one.  Just hop off and walk over to the bathroom.