Walking is the world’s most popular fitness activity. According to a study conducted by the Outdoor Industry Association, 53 percent of participants stated they enjoy walking for exercise — but is that indoors on a treadmill or outside on a track or road?
Walking is always good for you but does it matter where you do it? Which is better — a brisk outdoor walk or hitting the treadmill?
The Benefits of Walking Outdoors
The most obvious difference in walking outdoors is the fresh air. This can be a benefit – assuming it’s not pollen season or a heavy pollution day. There is also variability in scenery when you are outside, a big plus if you tend to get bored during your workout.
It is also possible that walking outdoors will challenge your stabilizing muscles in ways that you don’t get on a treadmill.
When walking outside you’re likely to encounter:
• Dogs that may require petting
In other words, you do things outdoors that you don’t have to do when on a treadmill. You could argue that going outside might offer a more well-rounded workout in this way. There are downsides, though. Inclement weather, for example, makes going outdoors impossible some days, perhaps even for whole months in some areas. This can cause many people to avoid working out at all. Walking outdoors might also minimize your options for things like stopping to go to the bathroom or getting more water. The risk of injury is another potential problem. When you are outdoors, you are presented with more physical obstacles looking to trip you up.
The Benefits of a Treadmill
Treadmills are game-changers in many ways. One obvious advantage is that your use of it is not dependent on having good weather. You can pick the exact temperature that is best for your personal fitness needs.
Treadmill workouts provide many other benefits as well.
• Cushioned decks to minimize the stress on your joints
• On-demand incline
• Programming to challenge you and maximize your fitness benefits
• Speed settings to keep you moving at your desired pace
• Entertainment options and scenic views for far more variety than walking around the
same old block
• Total safety by being away from cars, unfriendly dogs, uneven surfaces, etc.
• Schedule flexibility – workout any time, even when it’s dark outside.
• Multi-tasking: watch the news or your favorite show while getting in shape.
Treadmill workouts can be based on a variety of goals. You can set yours to focus on time, distance, or even a specific number of calories burned. Treadmill users also tend to move faster than outside exercisers, and speed counts when you want to burn calories. A treadmill is a far more flexible workout resource — one that eliminates all the excuses.
Stop in to any Premier Fitness Source location and visit with one of our Certified Exercise Professionals. We will be happy to discuss your personal fitness needs and let you try out a treadmill that fits your budget and helps you reach your goals. Bring along your workout shoes and let’s take a long walk!