Treadmill Running – Advantages & Disadvantages

Treadmill Running – Advantages & DisadvantagesThe treadmill works using a wide conveyor belt and an electric motor so that you are able to run or walk indoors while staying in one place. The more expensive, heavy-duty treadmills tend to be motor-driven. The less expensive, simpler treadmills work by passively resists motion, thus moving only when you move.

The treadmill is an alternative to outdoor running. While some people may simply prefer the consistency and steady environment of running in doors compared to out door running, others choose the treadmill for many choose the treadmill for different reasons.


  • Treadmills mimic an exercise and movement that is familiar and comfortable.
  • No excuse to avoid running. Often outdoor running is not possible for diverse reasons such as foul weather, traffic pollution, uneven road surfaces, poorly lit/ unlit streets or very busy neighborhoods with little space for runners, dangerous neighborhoods or unwanted attention.
  • Safety and security is another and common reason for many, especially women running alone. Running alone, particularly in the dark is less than ideal. Treadmill running sidesteps these all these.
  • Most treadmills posses some degree of shock absorption and reduce the impact of running. Thus treadmills may reduce strain and stress on joints including the ankles, knees and lower back.
  • As with running outdoors, treadmill running will increase endurance and cardiovascular fitness and facilitate weight loss or weight maintenance.
  • Privacy. If you are self-conscious and do not want to join a gym or run outdoors, having a treadmill at home can solve most of your problems.
  • You are able to multitask, as you are able to do other things while exercising, such as watching television.
  • Able to control your training conditions with more accuracy – slope/ incline and speed. Calories burned may be more accurately calculated.
  • Some treadmills calculate step count, heart rate and number of calories burned.


  • The treadmill lackw the constantly changing scenery and environment of outdoor running. Thus boredom may be a factor at a time for some users.
  • Running outside is free, as opposed to gym fees or the cost of buying your own treadmill. Cost of purchase and electricity to run the treadmill is significantly greater than running outside.
  • Lacks real world unevenness of the road. Does not strengthen of burn as may calories as running outdoors. Although there is a lack of consensus, many trainers believe that running at zero incline is tantamount to running downhill outside. They believe setting the incline/ gradient at 0.5 – 1.0% mimics running outdoors and of course burns more calories. However, do what is comfortable for your body.

Treadmill workouts can get pretty boring if you do the same thing each time. The key to overcoming boredom on the treadmill is to follow structured workouts, that is run with a plan in mind and to use the features the treadmill has to offer. You may want to implement a steady state workout, where you maintain the same pace for the entire workout, or you can try interval training (try this program).

The treadmill provides an ideal environment for structured workouts, as it lacks the external distractions of the outdoors. Structured running will not only make your workouts more interesting, challenging, fitter and faster. The treadmill allows you to experiment with pace and incline to to add challenge and intensity to your run. Most treadmills will also have an assortment of different programs to hold your interest for a long while. Use the workouts on offer for some ideas, to mix things and avoid boredom.


  • Using the handrails. Using the handrails makes your workout easier, which means you burn less calories. You also increase your risk of injury. Encourages poor posture and body alignment. It also produces an unnatural, inefficient gait. This is a particular problem for tall users.It’s best to not to hold onto the handrails unless you are trying to get a reading on your pulse.
  • Stepping off a moving treadmill. It’s dangerous.
  • Unnatural stride length. Many people have problems getting their stride length right. Stride length may be too short, with the person right to the front of the treadmill belt. Others run with a stride length that is too long. These people are running at the back of the treadmill belt.
  • Looking down to read a magazine, etc. on the treadmill encourages poor walking/ running posture and hunching.

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