Treadmill vs Walking Outside, Which Is Better?

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The choice between using a treadmill or walking outside depends on your personal preferences, fitness goals, and the specific benefits you are seeking. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a comparison to help you decide which is better for you.


  1. Controlled Environment: Treadmills provide a controlled and predictable environment. You can set the speed, incline, and duration of your workout, making it easier to track progress and maintain a consistent workout routine.
  2. Weather Independence: You can use a treadmill regardless of the weather conditions outside, which can be especially useful during extreme heat, cold, or rainy days.
  3. Safety: Treadmills offer a stable and flat surface, reducing the risk of tripping or falling compared to outdoor walking or running on uneven terrain.
  4. Customization: Many treadmills come with various features like heart rate monitors, interval training programs, and entertainment options, making your workouts more engaging.
  5. Joint Impact: Treadmills have shock-absorbing surfaces that can reduce the impact on your joints compared to running or walking on hard pavement.

Walking Outside:

  1. Natural Terrain: Walking outdoors exposes you to varying terrains, which can engage different muscle groups and provide a more diverse workout experience.
  2. Fresh Air and Nature: Outdoor walking allows you to enjoy fresh air, connect with nature, and experience changing scenery, which can boost mood and reduce stress.
  3. Vitamin D: Walking outside in the sunshine can help your body produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and overall well-being.
  4. Variety: You can explore different routes, parks, and trails when walking outside, making your workouts more interesting and engaging.
  5. Cost: Walking outside is free, while a treadmill requires an initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs.

Overall, the choice between a treadmill and walking outside depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. Some people prefer the convenience and control of a treadmill, while others enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. You can also combine both options to vary your workouts and keep things interesting. The most important factor is to stay consistent with your exercise routine, whether indoors or outdoors, to achieve your fitness goals.

When it comes to your actually workout, researchers have found that you burn more calories walking outside than on a treadmill. More calories are burned as you walk up and down hills as well as other terrain that forces you to use more muscles.