It’s a matter of personal preference: Indoor-running vs Jogging

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By Mario Martinez—

There are subtle advantages and disadvantages in indoor-running versus jogging outdoors and ultimately the only advantage is a matter of personal preference.

Having a strong, flexible core underpins almost every physical activity imaginable.

Running on treadmill has many advantages over jogging. Some of them are amenities such as having a live calorie burning/distance/speed calculator in front you; or being able to reach for water within arm-length; or (in some situations) having ESPN playing on a flat-screen TV right across from you. Besides amenities, running on a treadmill can be much more beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis, joint pains and/or backache, since the impact on a forgiving elastic running band is significantly less stressful then sidewalks and trails.

Jogging outdoors can be pretty vicious, especially when doing it without a proper pair of cross-training sneakers. Depending on on where you’re jogging, one can experience any of the countless unexpected unpleasantries of running out in the elements such as stepping on a rock, twisting an ankle, overheating, or (more dreadfully), tripping and falling in front of the most attractive stranger you’ve ever seen. However, jogging outdoors gives people (especially tall people) a larger range of motion, where they can run comfortably, with better form and lengthy strides since they are not limited to the dimensions of a treadmill. Studies have also shown that running outdoors adds a wind resistance which increases a workout’s effectiveness by up to 10%. But nature, unlike machines, cannot be controlled.

The one clear advantage that running on a treadmill has over jogging is that it never rains inside a gym. Sure, jogging outdoors is lovely when its 70 degrees with a light breezy that feels like a splash of cool water on your face while you’re running but it’s unconscionable to go for a jog during a snowstorm. That’s when a treadmill can be your most trusted ally. Treadmills can also compensate for the lack of wind by adjusting the incline level. Increasing the inclination level will intensify the tension in your core muscles while running, giving your workout similar effect as wind does when jogging outdoors.

But running on a treadmill can quickly become quite boring and monotonous. The constant thump thump thump of your feet running on a giant conveyor belt like some sort of a guinea pig inside a sweat-box may turn off many who already might not like the idea of running. And for marathon runners and cross-trainers, jogging outdoors is the best method of training and getting acclimated to running out on city streets. To some other people, jogging outdoors can be euphoric and/or otherworldly.

Aside from the runner’s high (which is a release of endorphins in your brain whenever you do a strenuous exercise), running outdoors can be an ethereal experience. Seeing the majestic sun (or moon; or clouds) hanging high above you as you jog along a trail or down city streets, pushing yourself through your maximum threshold, inhaling crisp fresh air while watching the rest of the world go through its motions around you can be humbling, which is a far greater experience than being inside an inanimate gym.

Others may enjoy that runner’s high more while running on treadmill because they feel like they get into a running groove, allowing them to run for longer periods. First-time runners might feel more comfortable running indoors instead of outdoors in front of countless strangers. Also, anyone who is stoutly overweight should run on a treadmill (or a track) at first, since the impact on their joints and feet will be significantly less severe than running on concrete pavements.

Still though, the choice to run indoors or jogging outdoors, is all a matter of preference



See other stories by Mario Martinez “Jogging… WTF? The Endless Marathon”