Walking or Treadmill. Which is Better?


Walking provides a lot of freedom from picking up the music while walking to talking with your friends. Walking or running can be performed outside or on a treadmill. For general health and weight loss purposes, walking and treadmill training is considered to be advantageous. But as a coin has two sides in the same way walking and treadmill have advantages and disadvantages too. You also have the option of lacing up for the treadmill or hitting the great outdoors, and each set comes with its own pros and cons. Below are the benefits and disadvantages of going for walk or treadmill that will eventually let you choose either natural or artificial exercise.

Benefits of Walking

Walking on a treadmill offers many of the health benefits of running if performed at moderate intensity and for a sufficient length of time. Walking is safer than vigorous-intensity activities, such as running and may increase the likelihood of sticking to an exercise program in the long-term. Here are the following benefits of Walking. 

Advantages Of Walking

#1 Walking will improve your Mood

Research has proved that regular walking actually modifies the nervous system that you will find a decrease in anger and hostility. This can be particularly helpful during the colder months when seasonal depression spikes. Whenever you feel low or depressed just go for a walk and you’ll see the magical difference while walking.

#2 Helps Burn Calories and Lose Weight

Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older. You don’t have to slog it out on a treadmill at the gym to see these benefits. Walking proves wonders.

#3 Walking can Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease

Walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes.  

World Health Organization recommends at least 600 MET minutes of physical activity each week. That is equivalent to 150 minutes of brisk walking or 75 minutes of running. People who engaged in the highest levels of total physical activity were twice as lively to avoid stroke, heart disease, angina, cancer, and diabetes, and be in optimal physical and mental shape 10 years later, experts found.

#4 Improves Digestion by Walking

Research has found that walking helps speed up the time it takes food to move from the stomach into the small intestines. This could help improve satiety after eating. There’s also evidence that links this type of faster digestion with lower rates of heartburn and other reflux symptoms.

#5 Walking makes You Creative

The researchers found that creative output increased by 60% on average when walking compared to sitting. The walking or sitting sessions used to measure creativity lasted anywhere from 5 to 16 minutes, depending on the tasks being tested. 

Disadvantages of Walking

#1 Higher Impact Builds Bones

Walking provides a low-impact form of weight-bearing exercise that is less effective for building strong bones than higher-impact types of exercise such as jogging, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

#2 Don’t Risk, Low Risk

Walking long distances on pavement can cause shin splints, which is an injury to your lower leg. Walking in worn out, uncomfortable or improperly fitting shoes can also cause shin splints as well as foot pain and blisters. 

Advantages of Treadmill

#1 Walk Faster

More speed equals more distance for the same amount of time, which in turn equals more calories burned than if they walked outside for a set distance rather than for time.

#2 Stay Entertained

Listening to music or podcasts outdoors can sometimes be dangerous, but in an indoor setting, you’re relatively free to listen to anything, watch videos, or read a book. For those who get bored on a walk, having a distraction can help the time fly.

#3 Better Control The Workout

The treadmill may also have a digital screen that displays vitals like heart rate, calories burned, and average speed feedback that can help improve your next walk.

Disadvantages of Treadmill

#1 Burn Fewer Calories 

Without hurdles like wind resistance or varied terrain, your body doesn’t have to expend as much energy and in turn, doesn’t expend as many calories. Keep in mind that holding onto the handrails will further reduce the calories you burn and affect your walking posture.

#2 Have Fewer Downhill options

If you’re training for a long-distance race, using only a select group of muscles may not adequately prepare you for a hilly course. While most treadmills offer an incline option great for building glute and quadricep muscles it’s less obvious to find a treadmill setting that simulates a downhill motion, which strengthens the anterior tibialis muscles and soleus muscles. 

#3 Costs More

Treadmills cost money. While you can walk or run outside for free, the cost of a budget home treadmill ranges from about $300 to $700, as of 2011. High-end treadmills cost much more. Regular treadmill use requires oiling, belt replacement, and sometimes replacement of the entire motor. In addition, motorized treadmills increase your home electricity bill. Like other equipment with computerized programs and motors, maintenance of treadmills usually requires a professional.

#4 Affects Knees

The cushioned surface of the treadmill may still inflict too much of a jarring impact on the back or stress the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Testing the surface and rebound is critical.

#5 Occupies Space

They can take up a lot of space. The more sophisticated treadmills take up a fair amount of space (up to 36 inches wide by 72 inches long) and generally do not fold up.

#6 Limited Exercise

Treadmills provide a limited kind of exercise walking to running so some people find treadmills boring after a while.

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