10 Benefits of Treadmill Workouts

Ten reasons to give indoor running a try

People running on treadmill at the gym
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If the cold, dark winter months are forcing you indoors more often for your exercise, you may find yourself using a treadmill from time to time. While a lot of experts say that outdoor running generally provides a better running workout, the treadmill provides some benefits that you just can't get by running outside. Here are a few great reasons to give the treadmill a chance.

1. Save Your Joints

The cushioned, shock-absorbing surface of the treadmill  is easier on the knees, hips and ankles than pounding the pavement.

This helps reduce the risk of injuries and allows you to run longer or more often than over concrete.

2. Stop When You Want

If you run on a treadmill, you can stop any time you feel like it (and you won't be miles away from home). If you run outside and need to stop for any reason (aches, pains, side aches, fatigue) you may find yourself with a long walk home. If you run on a treadmill, just hit the stop button and hope off. Easy.

3. Run Faster 

Runners who use a treadmill tend to have a faster pace and higher foot turnover than when running outside.  Because the treadmill belt is moving and doing some of the work for you, you have the opportunity to increase your running speed, perhaps significantly.  This is a great training method and a good way to start increasing your overall running speed.

4. Maintain Control 

You will have tremendous control over your workout when you use a treadmill. Adjust the speed, incline and tempo with the flip of a button, create your own training drills or use a pre-designed endurance, tempo, hill or interval workout.

Running outside means you have to conform to the terrain, which can be great for some workouts, but if you want really control, hop on the treadmill.

5. Stay Safe

You don't need to worry about much of anything on the treadmill: no dogs, traffic, dark alleys, bad weather, sketchy neighborhoods or all those stop lights.

Just turn it on, plug in your music and run, run, run, to your heart's content.

6. Plug in, Turn On

Running on the treadmill lets you catch up on the news, watch a movie, or crank up the tunes. While it's not ideal to do all your workouts while multi-tasking, sometimes you just don't want to have to decide between your evening run and  a dose of the Daily Show. With a treadmill, you can have both.

7. Run With Your Less Fit / More Fit Friends

At the gym you can share your running workout with your friends, partner or parents. Fitness level suddenly is no barrier for working out together, even if you run a 6-minute mile pace and your partner walks.

8. Sprint Without Embarrassment

Let's face it, doing 30-second all out efforts on a public running trail can be awkward. Not only are you 'running way too fast' compared to everyone else and look funny, you risk collisions, or having to dodge all the dog-walkers, and normal joggers on the trail. It's not always easy to find a flat, open and less crowded part of a road or path to do an interval workout.

9. Stay Hydrated

Who wants to carry a water bottle around with them when they run outside or plan a route based upon the nearest drinking fountain or water source? When you run on a treadmill, you can have all the hydration you desire, as well as a towel and a place to set your keys, music, and phone. That's pretty darn convenient.

10. Stats at a Glance

Let the treadmill keep track of your mileage, pace, elevation, heart rate and all the other workout stats.

Although running outside is probably the ideal way to train for races or events, there are times when running inside just makes sense.

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