Discover Running on a Treadmill vs. Running Outside: Pros and Cons

The treadmill is a commonly used exercise machine at the gym or in a fitness aficionado’s home.

It is a piece of reliable exercise equipment commonly used for cardiovascular workouts or training for a marathon.

The treadmill facilitates a runner to become faster and stronger.

As a runner, you certainly have your preferences when it comes to carrying out your workouts. You may be a person who prefers running outdoors.

You may find the treadmill dull to use. Otherwise, you may be a fan of the well-loved fitness equipment.

You think that it is convenient and you appreciate it for offering you the accuracy of an organized indoor exercise machine.

Plus, you appreciate the digital controls of the treadmill which provide you with the fitness statistics that you need to keep track of your weight-loss and wellness targets.

When looking at the aspects of running on a treadmill vs. running outside: pros and cons, there is no right or wrong answer people ask runners about their preferences.

These matters are subjective, and they all depend on which workout technique feels comfortable for them.

There are fitness enthusiasts who can perform their physical exercises better on the fitness machine than outdoors, while for others, it can be the other way around.

You may ask how running on a treadmill is different from running outdoors. You may also wonder if one is more effortless to do than the other.Let us find out more in this discussion.

Is Running on a Treadmill Different from Running Outdoors?

As a runner, you may wonder if it would be best for you to run on a treadmill or to do this exercise outside your home or of the gym.

Scientific research has proven that setting the treadmill to a one-percent grade enables the runner to simulate outdoor running.

Therefore, if you are curious if running on a treadmill is in any way different from running outdoors, have a look at these discoveries:

  1. Research has found out that the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) level, or the maximum rate of oxygen your body can use during intense physical activity, is similar when running on a treadmill and outdoors.
  1. Studies also revealed that the biomechanical patterns such as the runners’ bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, remained the same when they ran on the treadmill as compared to when they ran outdoors.

Therefore, when you think aboutrunning on a treadmill vs. running outside: pros and cons, running on the treadmill actually has similar outcomes as running outdoors.

Again, this is possible through setting the treadmill on a one-percent grade.

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What are the Advantages of Running on a Treadmill?

Running on a treadmill has its benefits when compared to running outdoors. Let us look at these upsides:

Running on a treadmill protects you against unfavorable weather.

Since the exercise machine is securely lodged inside the comforts of your basement or somewhere in your home, you can use it conveniently.

You do not have to worry about the rainy or stormy weather which can hold you back from carrying out your day’s run.

If you merely need to keep up with your well-rounded fitness routine and do your exercises for the day, running on a treadmill is ideal since it allows you not to go outside anymore.

The treadmill safeguards you against outdoor hazards.

Running outdoors exposes you to the dangers of damp and icy avenues, running in the dark by yourself, and the sharp turns on the roads with blind spots for the vehicles.

These concerning situations make enjoying your workout with your treadmill at home safely a better and more practical option.

The treadmill facilitates the simulation of the actual marathon.

If you are race-training, the treadmill is the highly recommended fitness equipment when carrying out the structured speed workouts in your training program.

With the use of the treadmill, you can pretendas if you are already on the specific race course that you are training to join.

Treadmills can be programmed, and its incline, speed, interval, and recovery can be manually adjusted.

As your body gets accustomed to running at particular speeds, this development makes it easier for you to transition to outdoor running which includes the highly challenging hills.

Your body does not have to contend with wind resistance.

It is easier to run on the treadmill because, as the belt moves under your feet, your body can freely charge ahead without having to push against any wind resistance.

You can jump on the exercise machine at any speed on which the belt is moving, and it would still record your actions as running.

On the other hand, when running outdoors, your legs have to contend with the wind resistance as they propel your body forward.

You can bring food with you during your treadmill workout sessions.

When using the treadmill at the gym or in your home gym or during your marathon training moments, you can bring your essentials like food, water bottle, and a workout towel.

However, you cannot enjoy these conveniences when you are running outside.

Running on a treadmill is the safe option for returning runners.

Did you recently get injured? Are you prepared to run again? The treadmill is ideal for runners who are returning after recuperating from their injuries.

Using the exercise machine helps them recover and slowly transition before running on theasphalt or concrete road again.

As you can see, running on the treadmill can bring you the effective workouts and convenience that you will surely enjoy.

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#3. Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike

The third bike on our list is the Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike. This bike is great for its price and offers all the basics you’d need when looking into a recumbent bike.

Build and Design:

The dimensions for this bike are 49.6 in x 28.3 in x 65.3 in, coming in at 85 pounds. It’s not one of the lightest or compact models, however, the bike sits on top of wheels allowing easy movement room to room.

The Nautilus R614 is specifically designed to support your body for lower back support for maximum comfort.

Other design features included are handlebars next to the seat, speakers supporting high-quality sound, and a 3-speed fan to keep you cool during your workouts.


The comfort level on this bike isn’t the best but isn’t the worst. If you’re looking for an ultra padded bike, then this isn’t the pick for you.

The best feature is included to support only the lower back, so this is a great pick for people who tend to suffer from lower back pain while working out.

The seating is padded, however, the back is not. The handlebars rest on the side of the seating, making it easy to slide on and off the bike.



The Nautilus R614 offers 20 different levels of resistance, giving enough options to build intensity. While the higher models of this bike offer more programs, you’re not missing much in terms of customization. In total the machine offers;

  • 9 profile programs including 3 moderate bike rides, 3 mountain rides, and 3 intensive bike rides.
  • 8 heart rate programs which provide customization
  • 2 fitness tests to measure your physical activity
  • 1 Quick Start Program
  • 2 Custom Programs
  • Data included
  • Time, Distance, Level, Speed, Heart Rate, Calories


The screen offers two blue backlit LCD windows with Bluetooth and USB connectivity to either Nautilus connect or MyFitnessPal, for the option to download your workout data. The back of the seat is vented, allowing for heat to escape from your back while biking.

The Nautilus R614 also includes side handlebars, acoustic chambered speakers for louder sound, and 3 fan speeds to cool you during your ride.

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  • Up to 10 years warranty on frame
  • Two-year warranty on parts
  • One year warranty for electronic compartments
  • 90-day labor warranty
  • Bluetooth & USB compatibility
  • High-quality materials
  • Durable w/ extra support on frame
  • Realistic motion to an actual bike
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  • Plastic Back Seat
  • Requires Assembly
  • Does not support taller framed people
  • Not completely Quiet
  • Low-Quality Screen
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#4. Exerpeutic 2000 Recumbent Bike

The 4th bike on our list is the exerpeutic 2000. This recumbent bike offers the best when it comes to comfort.

Build and Design: The dimensions for this bike are 41 in x 30 in x 58 in, coming in at around 71 pounds. The lightweight design makes it light enough to move when needed.

The weight capacity can support up to 300 lbs and offers an easy “step thru†design which provides the user with easy on and off capability.

Comfort: This is one of the top picks if you’re looking for a comfortable recumbent bike. It features padded seating with “air chambersâ€, this type of padding is constructed to be shock absorbing and help disperse the user’s weight, providing maximum comfort.

The backrest is slightly contoured, provided upper and lower back support, while also providing extra padding for elbows on the handlebars. The Pedals on this machine also accommodate larger sizes.


Resistance: There are 25 different options for controlled resistance, making it perfectly adjustable for beginners or trained athletes. 12 pre-programmed profiles include 4 variations of rides, 4 uphill mountain rides, and 4 extreme challenges.

There are two tests that can help measure your physical fitness and design a program based on your current ability.

  • 8 Different Levels of Magnetic Tension
  • 6 Preset Workout Programs
  • Tracks;
  • Time, Distance, Watts, Calories burned, and Heart Rate

Accessories: One of the best features of this recumbent bike is that it offers an iPad holder, so you can watch your favorite shows or use your applications. The size of the holder can also hold up books or magazines, making it very versatile.

The screen is an LCD display that displays the chosen workout on the screen. There are only 4 buttons included on the screen, making it perfect if you’re looking for a bike with less configuration.

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  • 5 Year Warranty on Frame
  • 90 Day Warranty on Components
  • Maximum Support
  • Maximum Comfort
  • Extra Padding
  • Fits all Height and Body Types
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  • Requires Assembly
  • Bulky Design
  • Complicated Setup and Assembly
  • Awkward Handlebar Placement
  • Screws Come Loose
  • Bolts and Screws Squeak if not maintained
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#5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4616 Recumbent Bike

The last recumbent bike on this list is the Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike. This bike is very minimalistic with its design, however, it offers all the basics you would need.

Build and Design: The dimensions for this bike are 41 in x 30 in x 58 in, coming in at around 71 pounds. The lightweight design makes it light enough to move.

The bike can support up to 300 lbs of maximum weight. However, the bike is more old fashioned in design, meaning the pedals use a belt system instead of electronic/magnetic.

Comfort: Everything on this bike is adjustable, making it ideal for the use of multiple people. The bike moves both back and forth while you are sitting on the bike, making it adjustable while riding.

The pedals are self-leveling making it easy for your feet to fit into the straps without any adjustments. Handlebars can be found on the side of the seats, making it easy to get on and off of.

The seat and back support are padding, however, they are more firm than cushioned.


Resistance: There are 25 different options for controlled resistance, making it perfectly adjustable for beginners or trained athletes. 12 pre-programmed profiles include 4 variations of rides, 4 uphill mountain rides, and 4 extreme challenges.

There are two tests that can help measure your physical fitness and design a program based on your current ability.

  • Tracks
  • Time, Speed, Distance, Calories, Odometer

Accessories: This recumbent bike has the most minimalistic design when it comes to the digital monitor. It’s very simple to use as there aren’t many buttons or settings. Located on the handlebar is a monitor that checks your pulse and can help you find your target heart rate for maximum calorie burning during workouts.

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  • 3-year manufacturers warranty
  • 3-year warranty on frame
  • 90 days other parts components
  • Minimalistic Settings
  • Tracks Progress
  • Quiet
  • Easy Assembly
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  • Doesn’t offer versatility for adjustments
  • Seat height not adjustable
  • Requires Assembly
  • Old Fashioned Belt Drive
  • Settings Possibly Get Stuck
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Wrap up

Each recumbent bike offers its own unique features, as long as you do your research on what you want to find it a bike, choosing shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The bikes listed above are the top 5 recumbent bikes under $500, so if you choose bikes with more/different features the price range will significantly change.

All of the bikes mentioned above also are all made of high-quality materials that give a longer lifespan than cheaper bikes. If assembly is going to be an issue for you, some websites (including Amazon) offer Expert Assembly for an additional price, however, this may up your shipping prices.