Walking vs treadmill. Is one more beneficial to your health than the other? The answer is no, but let's look at the pros and cons of each.
Although you may hear that walking outdoors burns more calories, research studies have found that isn’t true. You will burn the same amount of calories whether you choose to exercise outside or on a motorized treadmill.
As long as you walk at the same pace on a treadmill as you would outdoors (or at a gym) and you keep your heart rate in your Target Heart Rate Zone, you will have an effective workout no matter which method you choose.
Benefits of Using a Treadmill
The greatest benefit is that it is easier on your joints than walking on hard surfaces. Other benefits include being able to exercise no matter what the weather is like outdoors and exercising in the privacy and comfort of your own home if you own your own treadmill.
If you find this method a little boring, you can listen to walking music or watch your favorite TV show or movie. Use the “hill” option on your machine (if you have it) for an intense, challenging workout. Just remember to never go above a 12 percent incline to avoid damage to your shins or ankles.
Treadmills now come with a variety of features to keep you entertained and interested while working out. Some come with built-in TV's, many have an iPod/MP3 port and the most exciting new technology is called iFit. iFit allows you to virtually walk anywhere in the world, race against others and it includes workouts by celebrity fitness instructor, Jillian Michaels.
Benefits of Walking Outdoors
This method provides a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air. Of course you’ll probably have to deal with varying weather conditions and share the road with motorists, bicyclists and other pedestrians.
You can also find new routes and interesting places to walk, which keeps your walks fun and fresh.
Green Really is Better!
I came across an interesting article in which treadmill walkers were asked to look at either pictures of urban landscapes or images of greenery during their workout. Those who watched the green scenery had lower blood pressure, and improved energy and activity levels. They also reported a raised self-esteem, and improved mood. How’s that for going green!
Walking vs Treadmill - Mix it Up!
My advice is to mix up your methods of walking to experience
the benefits that both have to offer. Some days go for a walk outdoors
while on other days stay inside and use the treadmill. Instead of choosing between walking vs treadmill, you can get the benefits of both.