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Should I Be Running on a Treadmill?

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, so will people’s motivation to get back in to their fitness routines. If nothing else, this definitely means an influx in the number of joggers you pass on your morning commute! But, just because it’s getting warmer outside, does that mean that you should immediately transition to running outside? Not necessarily. Running on a treadmill can actually be an incredibly beneficial aspect of your fitness routine, even when the sunshine is tempting you to take it to the sidewalk.

Is running on a treadmill podiatrist approved?

YES! We actually recommend that our patients run on a treadmill instead of running outside. The bouncier surface of a treadmill is much more forgiving on your feet as opposed to the constant pounding that comes with running on blacktop or concrete. In the long run (pun intended), a treadmill will save your body a lot of unnecessary aches and pains.

Can running outside cause problems in my feet?

One of the most damaging aspects of running outside is having to run on uneven ground. Especially if you are a creature of habit who runs the same route every morning, your body will become accustomed to the natural incline variations on the road, which can cause some serious, long-term orthopedic problems.

Because most roads have a slight slope (think a peak in the middle of the road that gradually drops off on either side) to allow for drainage, the slight shift in terrain can dramatically impact the natural alignment of your body. Essentially, your body will trick itself into thinking that the leg closest to the middle of the road is shorter than the other because it is on higher ground. Over time, this unevenness can lead to ankle pain, ankle join instability, hip misalignment, and a multitude of other potential problems. Running on a treadmill ensures that you are running on an even surface that is conducive for regular, high-impact exercise!

Isn’t running outside better exercise?

Because the fluctuating outdoor terrain is naturally more challenging for your body, there is a common misconception that running on a treadmill isn’t as effective as running outside. However, the treadmill can easily be adjusted to cater to those who love a good uphill jog. Increasing the incline to 2% is a great way to simulate the challenge of outdoor running without subjecting your joints to the constant hammering of running on blacktop or concrete. Running on a treadmill also provides a controlled environment that allows you to focus on setting goals and improving speed and time, which is great way to keep yourself accountable with your exercise routine!

Whether you’re heading out for a quick jog or training for a marathon, a treadmill is a great piece of equipment to take advantage of. There are no serious risks or drawbacks that come with running on a treadmill, making it a great tool for runners of any experience level and caliber. Even though it can be so tempting to run outside in the spring weather, treadmill running is a route that everyone should seriously consider!