Body Blog: Indoor Vs. Outdoor Running
Unless you consider yourself “a runner,” (you know who you are) running can kind of suck. A lot. Sometimes it feels great to feel the wind through your hair and know that you left the equivalent of a 5K in the dust, no sweat. Other times, you barely make it to the end of your block before thoughts of turning home to the comfort and safety of your couch and DVR creep into your head.
And then there’s the whole debate over whether running on a treadmill is the same as running outdoors. Some “runners” will swear up and down that running on a treadmill is inferior to running outside, belittling the 3 miles on the treadmill that you just called your workout as not as hard, not as fast, or not as long as the treadmill said.
Well, here’s your chance to put those people in their place. Studies have proven that treadmill running is just as hard (and good for you) as running outside! Yayyyy! For better or worse, the treadmill and the great outdoors will burn your booty just the same when running is the name of the game.
Although they’ve proven that running on a treadmill is just as good of a workout as running outside, we all know that there are still huge differences in the two! Sure, you can listen to your iPod in both situations, but only inside can you balance Cosmo on the magazine rack in front of you while Britney’s “3″ keeps you working.
Most people have a preference for one or the other, but if you’re unsure of which location is better for you, here are the pros and cons of both:
When you run outside you get lots of fresh air, pretty scenery, and the thrill of exploring new routes. Lovely. But you’re also more at risk for being injured (either instantly by tripping and falling, or later on due to the effect of the hard roads on your joints) or being attacked. Plus, it’s not always easy to gauge your speed or distance. Oh, and sometimes, the weather can suck.
If you do choose to run outside, you should wear bright and reflective colors, run in well-lit and populated areas, and carry your cell phone with you if possible. (This is one more reason I love my iPhone so much – iPod and phone!! Woooo!).
Running on the Treadmill:
Like I said, magazine reading material is a perk, and when on the treadmill you can see your speed, distance and time all right in front of you. I don’t know about you, but that forces me to push myself a little harder – to run a little faster and further. But while that’s a major perk to gym running, there is the nasty truth that gyms are germy! And crowded – you don’t want to spend your precious time waiting in line to get in a 5 mile run. And let us not forget that the treadmill can be BORING; even if there’s a TV on that badboy, it gets old running in place after awhile.
Both options have their goods and their bads, but wherever you choose to run, it’s the right choice. Running – either indoors or out – is a great form of cardio. The most important thing you can do is find out which works better for you and stick with it. And the second most important thing you can do is add some Miley to your running playlist. She’ll definitely pick you up when you’re feeling down and out and too tired to move on.