Do you ever start your day wondering how you will ever get your daily run in? The sun is shining, but your “to-do list” is longer than an LA traffic jam. Do you head for the treadmill in the gym or are you being pulled for that run in the sun?
Running too many is addictive. Check that “endorphin” meter after a long run and you know why you need that daily run.
Running is an excellent form of exercise that provides many health and mental benefits. It can be done in various environments, such as on a treadmill or on a track. But which one is best for you? In this blog, we will discuss the differences between treadmill running and running on a track, as well as the health and mental benefits of each. Then you decide.
Treadmill running is a form of indoor running that involves a machine designed for running or walking in place. Think Peloton! The treadmill is equipped with a moving platform that you run on, and you can adjust the speed and incline of the platform to mimic outdoor running. One of the most significant benefits of treadmill running is that it is not weather-dependent, meaning you can run indoors no matter what the weather conditions are like outside. They also come in handy during a pandemic - just saying.
Health Benefits of Treadmill Running
Treadmill running provides many health benefits, including
Improved Cardiovascular Health: Running on a treadmill increases your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular health. This type of exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Increased Caloric Burn: Treadmill running can help you burn more calories compared to running outside. Running on a treadmill provides a consistent surface, which means you don't need to expend as much energy stabilizing yourself as you would outside.
Reduced Impact: Treadmill running is a low-impact form of exercise that can reduce the risk of injury. The cushioned surface of the treadmill can absorb shock and reduce the impact on your joints.
Convenience: Treadmill running is convenient, especially if you have a busy schedule or a never-ending to-do list. You can run indoors at any time of the day, which can help you stick to your exercise routine.
Mental Benefits of Treadmill Running
Treadmill running provides many mental benefits, including:
Reduced Stress: Running on a treadmill can help reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and reduce stress.
Improved Concentration: Treadmill running can help improve your concentration and focus. Running on a treadmill requires mental discipline, which can translate to other areas of your life.
Variety: Treadmill running can provide a sense of variety compared to outdoor running. You can change the incline and speed of the treadmill to simulate outdoor terrain.
Running on a Track
Running on a track is a form of outdoor running that involves running on a circular track. The track is usually made of rubber or synthetic materials and is designed for those who love to run! Running on a track is weather-dependent, however, meaning you can only run outside when the weather conditions are suitable. Although those hearty runners living in the northern states (Think Fargo, Mn) have been known to run in below zero temps all winter long!
Health Benefits of Running on a Track
Running on a track provides many health benefits, including:
Improved Endurance: Running on a track can improve your endurance by increasing your cardiovascular fitness. The circular shape of the track provides a consistent surface, which can help you maintain a consistent pace.
Improved Leg Strength: Running on a track can improve your leg strength by engaging your leg muscles. The impact of running on a track can help strengthen your leg muscles and improve your running form.
Improved Balance: Running on a track can improve your balance by engaging your core muscles. The circular shape of the track requires you to change direction frequently, which can improve your balance and coordination.
Improved Bone Density: Running on a track can improve your bone density by placing stress on your bones. This can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.
Mental Benefits of Running on a Track
Running on a track provides many mental benefits, including:
Sense of Community: Running on a track can provide a sense of community by allowing you to run with others. Many tracks are open to the public, and you can meet other runners who share your passion for running.
Sense of Accomplishment: Running on a track can provide a sense of accomplishment by allowing you to track your progress. You can set goals for yourself and measure your progress by recording your times and distances.
Connection with Nature: Running on a track can provide a connection with nature by allowing you to run outside. You can enjoy the fresh air, sunlight, and natural surroundings while running on a track.
Increased Motivation: Running on a track can increase your motivation by providing a new challenge. You can challenge yourself to beat your personal best or compete with others on the track.
Differences Between Treadmill Running and Running on a Track
There are several differences between treadmill running and running on a track, including:
Surface: Treadmill running provides a cushioned surface that absorbs shock while running on a track provides a firmer surface that can place more stress on your joints.
Incline: Treadmills can simulate inclines while running on a track that usually does not provide natural hills or inclines.
Environment: Treadmill running provides a controlled indoor environment while running on a track provides an outdoor environment that can be affected by weather conditions, except in Fargo.
Variety: Treadmill running provides the option to change the speed and incline of the treadmill while running on a track provides the option to change direction and enjoy natural surroundings.
In conclusion, whether you choose to pound the rubber on the track or the deck of a treadmill, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor. Treadmill running is perfect for those of us who can't be bothered to go outside or those who live in places where the weather seems to be either freezing or ready to “fry an egg on the sidewalk”. On the other hand, running on a track offers you a chance to commune with nature and connect with other people who are crazy enough to love running. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference, fitness goals, and whether you want to run on something that's moving or stationary. So, go ahead, lace up those shoes, and start running towards a healthier, happier day!