Running on Treadmill vs. Jogging Outside


Superficially running on a treadmill or jogging outside appears to the same kind of exercise. The same muscle groups are involved in running and jogging activities which require an equivalent progressive movement and body flow. Both activities help you to decrease the body fat percentage, make your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Also, it toned your body and makes your legs and core muscles stronger.

If you give a closer examination, there are some prominent and not so visible differences in outdoor jogging and running on a treadmill at home or in the gym (incline walking vs running).

Body fat loss Difference

As we talk about burning fats, as compared to running on a Treadmill Vs. Jogging option is commonly more crucial because of the components like rough land and disinclination to the wind. This means at a similar pace and time span, if you go out for jogging you will lose more calories as compared to running on a treadmill. However, you can adjust the pace, intensity, and inclination of your workout on the treadmill to burn more fat from your body.

Use the differences to Your Advantage

You can easily find this difference to your advantage by planning an outdoor jog that challenges and condition you more. Remaining days try for running on the treadmill to build your speed by increasing the pace for short periods. The change of scenery will also motivate you to stick with your daily exercise routine.

We tried here to describe a few of the influencers on required energy during your outdoor run/jog:


The wind resistance is obvious when you go for outdoor running/jogging. There you must push your body through stationary air, which is not there in case of treadmill running. An example of this resistance is that if you are running at 4.0 m/s outdoor, approx. 5% of the total energy is getting involved in overcoming disinclination to wind


So, what is the science behind this running activity? How does it make a huge difference between running on a (Treadmill vs. Jogging) treadmill at home vs going for outdoor jogging? And why it is called that running on a treadmill is easier than outdoor jogging?  Many pieces of research have been conducted over the past few years to know this difference.

Some of the facts have been described here:

Walk with a long Length and Rate

 As per the study conducted by Elliot, B.C., Blanksby B.A., where they compared a treadmill to an outdoor run with a men and women volunteer whose running and jogging velocities were in between 3.3 and 4.8 m/s. No consequential differences were recorded for a long length walk, pace rate, time (where they needed support or not).

As the speed increases on the treadmill over 4.8 m/s (as compare to outdoors); the long-distance/length of running/walking/jogging decreases ( incline walking vs running ). Like this, the pacing rate and time (leg support on the ground) increased.  since the speed is high automatically you are taking here shorter steps. Hence you are getting here enough time to rest each time when one of your legs in on the ground (treadmill belt). 

How energy is getting involved here?

When the speed is high, and the rest time is longer, you are recommended to take shorter steps as it requires less energy. As you will increase the pacing rate on the running, it requires higher energy. It all would be the same at low-speed.


It is an important factor of this comparison which makes running on a treadmill easier than outdoor jogging ( incline walking vs running ). The treadmill surface is always flat and soft than the roadside surface. While you are running this surface makes it easy for your legs joints to run without any pain. Also, you can run longer with any hurt in your legs.

Physiological Demands

Since the treadmill ( Treadmill Vs. Jogging ) has a constant running surface and environment, it becomes easy for you to walk, run & jog on a treadmill ( incline walking vs running ). While jogging outside is different in many aspects. External factors like terrain and wind the incline on the treadmill by 1 degree to adjust for the lack of wind resistance.

Mill counts under cardio, which is known as fast fat burning exercise. In this exercise; the moving belt in the treadmill promotes faster foot movement, which allows you to run faster than a normal outdoor run or walk.  Since you land with a flat foot platform while running on a treadmill, it has less impact on your joints than jogging outdoors.

Cognitive Differences

There’s this saying that your mood plays a major role in achieving any goal in your life; specifically, health & fitness goals.  Running a few kilometers on a treadmill at home, incline walking vs running, hitting the gym is much more convenient than going for jogging outside where the weather can be an issue.  Also, you can always keep a watch on your progress on the treadmill display which boots your morals and pushes to work harder.

Here are the following potential benefits and negatives of treadmill running which help you adjust your workouts to make treadmill running equivalent to logging miles outdoors and give you some tips to make incline walking vs running, treadmill running more “enjoyable” when it’s necessary.

Treadmill teaches you how to maintain the pace while running. Before starting you can easily set up and lock your target pace and forget it. The only disadvantage of this method is to you don’t know how to maintain this pace on your own when you go for ( incline walking vs running ) outdoor jogging or running. Therefore, you stunt the development of your internal effort and pacing instincts.

On the ground when you go for the race it becomes critical, you won’t have the idea to develop that fine sense of pacing which is crucial to running a negative split and finishing strong. For most of the runners, running on the mill is boring. Looking at the clock every 30 seconds and get bored at that time has stooped since your last seen and not passing.

In another way when you go out for jogging/running, naturally you feel that you are closer to your finish line and how much is the remaining distance. This visualization can’t be done over a run. And it becomes flinty to focus on your target and push your body every time.

So, the bottom line is people living in an unpleasant state of the atmosphere (includes cold and hot) should go for a run. Although you should develop a skill to go for an outdoor running occasionally.

Also Read: Start here 10 Meditation Tips for Beginners