Remember the training montage in Rocky where Sylvester Stallone is running through the streets of Philadelphia? Chances are it made you want to get out there and hit the streets in your own neighborhood for a solid cardio workout. But how many of you actually run the streets on a regular basis for your cardio work? Or do you prefer the treadmill for this form of exercise? Each have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your cardio training.
Running outdoors is more challenging as you will likely encounter uneven and unpredictable surfaces, not to mention hoards of people getting in your way. As a result, you'll end up working harder as the oxygen costs from running on the road are greater than those achieved running at the same speed on a treadmill. On the other hand, running on a treadmill offers a stable environment, as well as a more stable surface to run upon. Plus it allows you to control the pace you want to go.
Treadmill: Running on a treadmill is less likely to cause joint damage or injuries that are more common with road running. Plus the treadmill belt assists your legs during each step, making it easier to run at a faster pace.
Street: Running outdoors won't cost you a penny, and it's a great opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.
The amount of calories that you burn when exercising is calculated by the intensity of your workout, and how much oxygen you would have consumed.
Treadmill: To make your treadmill experience more challenging, you can simply increase the incline or the speed, and this could in turn actually help you burn more calories than running outdoors.
Street: Due to winds and other weather, running outdoors requires more oxygen as you would have to work harder running across pavement.
YOUR BEST BET:
To ensure your body doesn’t adapt to your cardio routine, it's a good idea to challenge yourself and alternate your cardio from the treadmill to the streets.