Fitness Articles

Are You Cheating Yourself by Choosing the Treadmill?

What's Better: the Treadmill or the Open Road?

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Tips: For carefree running year-round, it's hard to beat the treadmill. For those outdoor runners, be sure to always dress in layers, and carry your ID, cell phone and some change just in case of emergencies. And to treadmill runners, don't be afraid to get out there and enjoy it when the weather is beautiful.
Feedback
What's great about the treadmill is that you always easily know exactly what's going on with your run. You know how far you've gone, how many calories you've burned (or at least an estimated count) and how fast you're moving and the steepness of your incline. The treadmill is perfect for doing interval training because it's so easy to watch your pace and speed up or slow down your speed accordingly. But for those who are discouraged by watching the clock or seeing these stats, they can be hard to avoid on the giant console right in front of your eyes.

Running outdoors obviously doesn't have the bells and whistles of the treadmill, but it can be a nice break from technology. Many of us spend so much time in front of the computer that being outdoors in nature is a great and rejuvenating break. For those who want it, there are plenty of portable gadgets that can give you all of the same real-time running stats (pace, distance, time and more) for a fraction of the cost of a treadmill. So whether you want the solitude or the data, there's an outdoor option for you.
Tips: If you're a treadmill runner and find that you're always watching the clock tick by, throw a towel over the feedback display. If you’re outdoors and want more feedback, invest in a running gadget (such as the Nike+ sportband or the Garmin Forerunner) to track your speed and distance.
Fun Factor
Although many treadmill runners swear by watching TV or listening to music to keep them motivated, on the whole, most people find the treadmill to be a tad boring—especially if you're always at the gym (or you can't nab a treadmill by a TV). Let's be honest: It can be boring (and a little odd) to put in all that work but not really go anywhere. However, most treadmills also have workout programs that automatically change up your incline or speed, which can shake things up a bit.

There is just so much more to look at and think about when you're running outside, thanks to the changing scenery. If you're in a park, the people watching alone can keep you entertained for miles. Many outdoor runners have no qualms about running without their iPods or external motivation sources because the scenery alone is enough to entertain them. And by varying your route regularly, it never gets boring. Plus, you can run outdoors in a purposeful way: to the bank, to the post office, or to work, while a treadmill run will always be running in place.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

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