Running Outside vs Treadmill Weight Loss: Choose The Best [2021]

Is there a difference between running outside vs treadmill weight loss? The benefits of running for weight loss are widely known, but where do you run to make a difference?

No matter what runner you ask:  Running outside vs Treadmill running, there’s almost no doubt they’ll have a different reaction to each. It is said that the monotony of treadmill running (more often called “the dreadmill”) will wear some people out, others won’t be motivated to push themselves without manual control. Others like the structure of an indoor workout and the challenges it provides.

It is not correct to side with either group. There is no right way or wrong way to run. As it turns out, both methods are useful for improving your strength and speed, no matter if you’re training for a race or just getting in a cardio workout. Your best chance of being successful is logging both indoor and outdoor miles. The following is a comparison of running indoors on a treadmill vs running outside.

Why Running is Good for Weight Loss?

The advantages of running include its low impact on joints and great cardiovascular benefits. You can also use it for free, get consistent results, and it does not require much equipment. Even though running can help you lose weight, most people are worried about running on a treadmill, which is boring and can cause injuries. Sadly, most studies that focus on running on treadmills are very short-term in nature.

Due to that lack of research, there are not many studies that compare outside running with treadmill running. With treadmill running, you can run in all directions, so you can get a faster workout since you are not limited to straight lines. The only restriction is that you must stay on the natural terrain, which can still be a great workout.

Benefits of Running

  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density
  • Muscles in the legs and core are strengthened and toned
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease by improving cardiovascular health
  • It helps to lower body fat percentage
  • It improves circulation
  • Boosts immunity
  • Releases endorphins into the brain that reduce stress and improve mood
running outside vs treadmill weight loss

Running Outside Benefits

It’s possible to lose weight in many different ways by burning calories. If you are running, your heart rate increases and you burn more fat than if you are riding a bike or doing another cardio exercise. While running outside does increase your heart rate, you are able to keep it from increasing as high as if you were running on a treadmill.

Since treadmill and outdoor running are both good for the heart, both are good for the heart using the treadmill.  What if I told you that running on a treadmill is more intense than running outside? You can increase and decrease the treadmill’s speed while you’re running on it. It is harder on your body to run on a treadmill.

When should you choose to run outside?

While running outside is never a bad idea, you must choose to do it when training for a race or marathon. It’s hard to match the undulations of the ground with the treadmill, even though you can decline or incline it.

There are several other health benefits of running outside, aside from these physical ones. Like when the sun shines on your skin, you get a good amount of vitamin D.

Additionally, you can breathe in the fresh air, which is very beneficial to your health overall. As compared to running on a treadmill, running outdoors can boost energy and leave you feeling less depressed and angry.

Running Treadmill Benefits

running outside vs treadmill weight loss

In terms of technology, treadmills have advanced tremendously over the past couple of decades. The machines were once large machines meant only for health club members. Treadmills are now designed to accommodate athletes of all types, from the extremely muscular to people who want to maintain their cardiovascular fitness.

As well as improving flexibility, endurance, and balance, treadmill running increases balance and stability. Treadmills provide a number of advantages over running outside, as you might have guessed.

With a treadmill, for example, your heart rate can stay consistent, so you can push yourself to your maximum without having to worry about overdoing it. Alternatively, outdoor running can lead to injuries, since you may not be able to step on a flat surface to recover from an injury.

When to choose Running Outside vs Treadmill Weight Loss?

A treadmill is a great option for those of you who want to maintain your fitness routine by doing a few miles of cardio every day. You can decide to run inside when it’s unsafe to run outside if you are an outside runner.

There are other factors to consider as well, including running alone in the dark, sharp turns and cars with blind spots. Training on a treadmill will give you structured speed work, making it ideal for anyone training for a race.

Runners who have been injured in the past may find running indoors beneficial. For those who are beginners and are not comfortable running on concrete surfaces, running on a treadmill is definitely the best option.

Best Time to Pick One or the Other

Running Outside vs treadmill weight loss is an excellent way to improve endurance and get fit. By forcing you to breathe deeply while running on the treadmill, treadmill use may help you lose weight. Since there is so much wind and oxygen in the air when you run outside, it is much harder to hold your breath.

Regardless of whether you run on a treadmill for long periods of time or not, you can always mix it up with a bit of cross-training to keep your aerobic workouts interesting.

You will also lose weight faster by using the treadmill as it builds strength in the legs and core and helps you get and maintain a healthy weight. The treadmill should not be used for weight loss if you are not properly prepared because you may get injured.

Enjoyment and Adherence When running Outside vs treadmill Running

What is the best type of running? The one that you enjoy doing. Despite its lack of fun factor, the treadmill is still commonly referred to as the “treadmill.”

Providing you are moving outdoors rather than on a treadmill, moving al fresco tends to carry a lower perceived exertion. Running outside, no matter how much more difficult it is, seems to be the easiest way to run.

Research has also shown that outdoor exercise tends to be more enjoyable than indoor exercise, with more positive impacts on physical and mental wellbeing, which increases your likelihood of sticking with it.

running outside vs treadmill weight loss

Running Outside vs Treadmill Weight Loss: The Question of Calories

There are a number of different opinions about the benefits of running outside vs treadmill running, but fitness professionals generally agree that running outside burns more calories than using a treadmill.

When you exercise, your calorie burn depends upon the intensity of the workout, and therefore how much oxygen you consume.  Outside running requires a higher rate of oxygen consumption and burns more calories than treadmill running owing to the ease with which the distance can be covered.

The following reasons explain why treadmill running is less challenging than running outside:

  • A treadmill isn’t exactly flat or straight like the real world.
  • While jogging outside, you must contend with wind resistance as you move forward.  With a treadmill, you run on the spot, without wind resistance.
  • Running on a treadmill is made easier by the rearward motion of the belt, reducing the need to drive your weight forward to cover ground.

As a result, you will burn more calories running over the ground than on a treadmill at an established speed and gradient.

On the other hand, if you want to burn more calories on a treadmill, you should increase the pace or the gradient.  For runners who run on treadmills, raising the gradient to 1 degree will help make up for the lack of wind resistance On a treadmill you can increase the gradient, so you can burn more calories than outside; running outside would be flat or on a downhill, and there is no way to create a hill in the outdoors!

Other factors to consider:

  • Weather advisories such as blizzards and heatwaves When the outdoors aren’t conducive to a run, you can enjoy a run on your treadmill.
  • Today’s treadmills, including NordicTrack’s Commercial and T Series, include virtual outdoor routes and on-demand video classes that make running indoors more fun than ever before.

The Final Verdict

Runners can lose weight on treadmills and outside. Both have pros and cons. You can choose to run on a treadmill if you are only interested in cardiovascular benefits.  You will benefit more from running outside if you are preparing for a race. Find out what works best for you and include it as much as possible in your routine.

In some situations, such as keeping cardiovascular fitness while avoiding knee injuries, treadmill running may seem like the obvious choice. It is always advisable for anyone wishing to run to find a suitable route that fits their needs.

The experience of running outside exposes you to every aspect of the weather and the environment. When you are able to choose whether to run in the sun or the rain, it will allow you to stay more comfortable and avoid getting injured.

Regardless of whether you enjoy running on roads, you should always find side streets where you can do so. Due to the unfavorable conditions for running in winter, many runners opt to run on treadmills.

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