Guide to Running Indoors and Outdoors

running on a roadRegardless of age, place of residence or climate conditions, almost all people can benefit from running. Running has benefits that are great for the heart, mind, lungs and the entire body. Some people choose to run indoors on tracks and treadmills, while others prefer outdoor tracks, street running and trails. Each preference has its benefits and disadvantages, so beginning runners should obtain an understanding of each type of running to see which works best for them.

Today’s runner might not necessarily have the time, energy or space to get the running workout that they would like. Treadmills remain one of the best ways to get a nice run in a condensed amount of time. With a treadmill, people can purposefully pinpoint specific muscle groups, by changing the settings on their equipment. With treadmills, runners can change elevation, speed, resistance and a number of other options in order to customize their entire running experience. Treadmills are also almost always able to track calories burned, miles run and a variety of other measurable factors, allowing people to get the most out of their workouts.

Running on an indoor track can provide a nice retreat from poor weather conditions, while still allowing runners to get in their workout. Since the settings are controlled, runners have a lot less to worry about in terms of danger. Gyms with indoor tracks typically have markers letting people know how many laps constitute a mile or other distances.

Outdoor running typically consists of running on an outdoor track, street, grass or trail. Outdoor running has a number of benefits, many of which are mental. Street running allows people an open-ended approach, while running on a track makes it easier to track specific distance goals. Running on grass and trails can provide an excellent outdoors experience, while the shock absorption of softer ground is less damaging to the knees. Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy running trails and hills to feel one with nature and take in the sights of birds, squirrels, insects and other beings in their natural habitats.

The biggest goal of any running program is to get the blood pumping and working the body. Running is one of the best cardio workouts a person can do, because it allows the heart to accelerate on a continuous basis throughout the entire workout. Running is also one of the least expensive workouts a person can embark upon, as it only takes some comfortable clothes, a good pair of running shoes and time. Some people choose to buy accessories like heart monitors and pedometers to track their heart rate and distance traveled. This exercise can also be a social endeavor, as many people form and join running groups, participate in races and marathons and exchange information with other avid runners. Running is a test of both physical and mental endurance, and the strength gained in these workouts will carry over into other areas of life. It’s an excellent stress reliever and a great way to build a sustaining lifestyle that can carry someone throughout the rest of their years. Whether a person chooses indoor running on a track or treadmill, or outdoor running on an outdoor track, street or trail, each method has its place.

For more information on indoor and outdoor running, visit these resources:

5 Treadmill Workouts in an Hour or Less

12-Week Treadmill Workout

PFT Run Workouts

Fast Running Workouts for Busy Days

Run Less, Lose More

Are you running properly?

Running Barefoot: Training Tips

The Benefits of Running


Biggest health benefits from exercise come when sedentary people start a program

Health Benefits of Jogging and Running

10 tips for running indoors this fall

Why Road Runners Should Run on Trails

How to Find the Best Running Shoes

Is Running on a Treadmill Good

The Best Cardio Workouts You’ve Never Tried

Recommended Exercise Methods

Exercise Helps Your Heart

Exercise, heart disease and high blood pressure

The Mental & Cognitive Benefits of Running

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