Walking is a popular form of exercise that offers several advantages. Whether you choose to walk on a treadmill or outdoors, it can help improve your fitness and overall health. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between walking on a treadmill and walking outdoors, as well as the benefits of walking and how to maximize them.
Walking on a Treadmill
Walking on a treadmill may be slightly easier compared to walking outdoors. The surface of the treadmill is uniform, and the machine itself assists in propelling your feet backwards. To challenge yourself and burn more calories, you can adjust the incline of the treadmill to simulate an uphill climb.
One of the advantages of walking on a treadmill is that it allows you to control the speed and incline to create a personalized workout. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with joint pain or injuries, as walking on a treadmill is gentler on the joints compared to walking outdoors.
However, walking on a treadmill can become tedious and monotonous. Being confined within a gym space may make the exercise less stimulating. Additionally, the consistent resistance and environment of the treadmill may not be as invigorating as walking outdoors, which can make the exercise less motivating.
Walking outdoors presents variable challenges such as changes in terrain, slopes, curves, and weather conditions. These factors can result in a slightly higher energy expenditure compared to walking on a treadmill. Moreover, walking outdoors can help improve coordination and balance due to constant adaptation to variations in terrain.
Outdoor walking offers a variety of benefits, including the opportunity to enjoy nature, change scenery, and breathe fresh air. Additionally, walking outdoors can burn more calories than walking on a treadmill, as you have to exert effort against elements such as wind and hills. Outdoor walking can also be more easily integrated into your daily routine, such as taking a stroll during lunch break or going for a walk after work.
However, walking outdoors can be more challenging for the joints, especially if you walk on rugged or uneven terrain. Weather conditions can also be a limiting factor, as extreme weather can make exercise difficult or dangerous.
How do we burn calories while walking?
Walking is an aerobic activity, meaning it utilizes oxygen to produce energy. When you walk, your body burns calories to generate this energy. The more briskly and longer you walk, the more calories you burn.
The number of calories burned while walking depends on several factors, including your weight, age, gender, fitness level, and exercise intensity. Generally, the more weight you carry, the more calories you burn. Similarly, the faster and longer you walk, the more calories you burn.
Do we burn more calories on a treadmill or outdoors?
According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, walking outdoors burns approximately 5% more calories than walking on a treadmill. The researchers found that outdoor walking requires more energy to overcome natural obstacles such as hills and wind.
While there is a slight difference in calories burned between walking on a treadmill and walking outdoors, it is not significant. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences and needs.
Other Benefits of Walking
In addition to calorie burning, walking offers numerous other health benefits. It improves blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, improves mental health, and alleviates stress.
Furthermore, walking can be a social activity. Walking with a friend, family member, or joining an organized walking group can help maintain motivation and make exercise more enjoyable.
Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Walking
- Aim to walk at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
- Vary your walking route to avoid boredom.
- Wear comfortable and supportive shoes to prevent foot and leg pain.
- Stretch before and after walking to prevent injuries.
- Use walking poles to strengthen the arms and burn more calories.
- Try walking at a brisk pace to burn more calories.
Walking is a versatile and beneficial exercise that can be customized to suit individual needs and preferences. Whether you choose to walk on a treadmill or outdoors, incorporating walking into your routine can provide numerous health benefits. It is a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.