You’re determined to lose weight and you want to start exercising to accomplish that goal. You’ve always loved walking, but is a treadmill or walking outside better for weight loss?
It is important to know the pros and cons so that you can compare walking in both settings. There are several factors to consider when making the decision about where, when and how to make sure you consistently exercise by walking every day (or most days!). Let’s dive in!
For most people, time is a big factor in keeping with an exercise program. How do you get the best workout in the shortest amount of time? Lots of people like to be able to perform their exercise routine no matter what’s going on in life. With walking, you can be at home, at work or on vacation and still walk. Most people have the ability to walk in the great outdoors, but weather is always a factor, and that means taking the time to dress in the appropriate gear. Location can also be a limiting factor if you’re traveling or if you work in a busy city and it’s not easy to just go outside for a walk.
Treadmills do tend to be a better option for a regular, consistent training routine because they are not dependent on the weather. These days, treadmills are pretty accessible. Many workplaces have gyms, nearly all apartment homes do and most hotels have workout facilities. There are lots of great treadmill models you can use at home, too, so depending on your situation, a treadmill might be the more consistent option for your lifestyle.
You can also multitask on the treadmill, such as watching television or watching your kids at the same time. We all need multitasking!
To lose weight, you have to keep a fairly brisk pace to get your metabolism revved up. Sometimes that is difficult to do walking outdoors. When walking on the street, sidewalks or local trails, it usually makes for a great casual stroll, but it isn’t always possible to keep the pace you need because of weather, uneven terrain, dogs, bikes and other walkers. It just depends on your situation.
With a treadmill, your walking surface is always even, and it’s just you (unless you have a crazy Jack Russell terrier that tries to jump on and walk with you). Besides, a treadmill also allows you to customize your walkout. You can walk flat or uphill so it’s like you are engaging in outdoor walking anyway—just without all the fuss. You can record your time, miles and heart rate with a treadmill, and when you have data, you can tailor your fitness goals. Data and feedback also make it more likely that you’ll stick to your exercise routine. Treadmill walking is a fantastic way to track your workout pace and customize your daily walking routine.
If you’re fairly overweight or out of shape, it’s easy to start at a slower walking pace and work your way up. Many people find that starting on a treadmill is easier. If you’re self concious about your weight or fitness level, you can walk on the treadmill in privacy with no one watching or judging you. You can track your progress and you’ll feel great about your improvement in becoming more fit and toned.
Just remember, it is all about burning calories to lose weight. Data shows that if you walk on a treadmill incline of as little as 1 percent, you can burn more calories than you would simply walking outdoors. When you do walk on the treadmill, don’t grab the rails. It changes your walking posture and you’ll burn fewer calories. Try to train yourself to walk without holding on—start slow at first, get your balance, and then increase your pace.
A treadmill is safer. You don’t have to worry about dodging cars, dogs, bikes or other people while you walk. The surface of a treadmill is even, so you don’t have to worry about joint strain that occurs with uneven outdoor surfaces like asphalt. If you are a walker and you’re recovering from an injury, a treadmill is the best choice for its consistent surface. Walking in and of itself is a low-impact exercise, but walking on an even treadmill surface that you can readily and easily adjust means that you control the impact on your hip joints, knee joints and spine.
Walking is a great activity whether it’s done outdoors or on a treadmill, making it a very attractive workout option. It’s low impact and it’s fun. While nature offers the added benefit of sunshine and getting out of the house, a treadmill is a more consistent option for fitness. Nothing is stopping you from walking on the treadmill and then doing a leisurely walk later in your neighborhood with your dog, friends or kids. The more walking, the better!
After reading our article, are you committed to working a treadmill routine into your fitness regimen? Visit our site—we can help you determine the best treadmill to suit your needs.