Is It Better To Walk Outside Or On A Treadmill?

Treadmill Running


By Simon Gould

Walking is great exercise. The CDC says brisk walking is moderate physical activity which forms part of what you need to do regularly to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can walk anywhere and that includes inside on a treadmill. Walking is great to get you fit and to help you lose weight in addition to a healthy diet.

Walking is especially good to help you lose weight if you're large to begin with. This is the case if running is not an option yet then walking is great to burn calories and begin shedding those pounds. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. There are advantages to walking outside and on a treadmill but which is better? We answer that in this article, but first:

How long you should be walking for

The CDC says you should be doing 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of brisk walking. This seems like a lot and it is, but you don't have to do it all in one day and any walking is better than none. Try walking to stores instead of using the car. Try walking up stairs instead of using the elevator. All of these things will count toward your exercise time.

The best way to divide the 2 hours and 30 minutes is 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week. Perhaps there's a nice park near you that you could walk in. You could listen to your favorite audiobook or music as you go and this could pass the time nicely combined with some beautiful views. Either way it's good to bring walking into your life.

The advantages of walking on a treadmill

These are very similar to our advantages of using a treadmill page. For walkers the best is that you can use the incline. This can increase your fitness and calorie burn to lose weight. You can set it anywhere up to 15% and you can specify the amount of time you're walking on that incline for. This can be quite an intense workout.

No where in nature can you manufacture inclines like you can on a treadmill and this helps you do power walking. Another advantage is you can stop at any time and you're still where you started from. Do this outside and you could be miles away from home. You have a console that keep track of your time and distance. We've created some treadmill walking plans you may find useful:

The advantages of walking outside

The cost is the main advantage where it doesn't cost anything apart form the price of some walking shoes. There is no treadmill to buy or pay for a membership to a health club or gym that has one. The beauty of the scenery around you, there's nothing better than to exercise in the open air, there may be a popular route you could walk round.

Walking outside is something you can do with your family or friends so the health benefits can be shared. It's also a lot more fun doing it with others than on your own. The sunshine will give you vitamin D and the health benefits to regular walking can't be overstated. The reduced risks of various diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular problems like heart disease and strokes.

Do both

Take advantage of the benefits of walking on a treadmill and outside. When the weather is too bad or your local area makes it difficult to walk outside then a treadmill is a great alternative. If a treadmill becomes your only option take advantage of the incline and other workouts you can do on it. The aim is regular exercise to almost daily so get into a routine and do both.

Beyond walking you can start running. If you've got your weight down to a suitable level, you might like to take things further then try running. The treadmill is ideal for this because you can set a pace that's good for you. Many running plans involve a walk/run routine to get you into running slowly. Our couch to 5k on a treadmill does just that and we recommend it to get you taking fitness seriously and improve your health even more.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? See my top 3 recommended treadmills for 2021

Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.

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