And runnin', runnin'

By Lauren Wiltshire | 5/6/13 6:39pm

Treadmills are really great for our Michigan winters and staying shape. Now, that is has finally spring into spring full gear I want to share some thoughts on why running outside is way more beneficial than being stuck inside the gym on a treadmill.
First, treadmills are a known instigator of shin splints. When running outside, the pavement is uneven and the path is not all the same—requiring a different step or tread from you. While the treadmill can give some relief to knees—only if the belt is properly cared for it offers no change of patters. If the belt is not properly taken care of, the joint pressure may be increased and cause some serious damage—and lack of toning because your muscles already have no change in movement. Secondly, most treadmills offer no option of wind. Wind outside pushes us forward and resists against us. Because there is some form of wind, when running outside we can optimally burn more calories. Treadmills can also get super boring. If you don’t snag the prime spot in Grand Valley’s gym to people watch, you’re stuck staring a wall. Running outside offers variety. You can change up your trails and see different things—all while keeping your music like you would at the gym. The challenge of running outside also comes from the change in terrain and weather. While treadmills can sometimes incline, a natural incline, uphill-downhill pattern is much better. Also, weather such as snow or rain increases the level of difficulty of running—again burning the optimal amount of calories. Running outdoors can happen anywhere. It is so functional. By running outside, not only do you take time off of working out, but also you save money by not driving to the gym! You also have no monthly membership fees. You can run on vacation and at home, or even on a lunch break during work. If training for a race, treadmills can put you at a large disadvantage. When training, you want your runs to mimic the race as much as possible. Its almost like having the home court advantage. Running on a treadmill can leave out resistance of wind, and other things I mentioned earlier. Treadmills also can make you use an unnatural stride. Unconsciously, our strides change with the movement of the belt. To get the best wellness, we want our body to work with itself, in a natural feeling. On treadmills, we can also tend to lean too forward, not engaging our core muscles.

Now, I am not saying that running on a treadmill. I am, however, promoting that running outside can be more beneficial to overall wellness. Any exercise is good exercise!

_“Life can be unfair sometimes; but that’s no reason to give up on it.” Anonymous _


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