Why You Should Take Up Walking
In this day and age walking is something that a lot of young people don’t really like to do, and certainly not as a leisure activity, but this is a simple way to burn some extra calories and lose some weight, whilst at the same time toning up your legs and your glutes.
Furthermore if you check out this article from Tesco Living, you will see that walking has a number of positive health benefits because it can strengthen your heart, prevent dementia, reduce the chance of developing diabetes and certain forms of cancer and boost your energy levels, for example.
If you would like to take up this low-impact form of exercise, you basically have two options. You can either walk outside or you can walk on a treadmill. Here are some of the main pros and cons of both of these options:
The Benefits Of Walking Outside
One of the obvious benefits of walking outside is that you can get some fresh air into your lungs if you live in the countryside, and if the weather is warm and sunny, it will also help to lift your spirits and make you feel happy and content, whilst at the same time boosting your vitamin D levels.
Another key benefit is that it costs absolutely nothing. All you really need is a pair of comfortable walking boots or trainers, which you may well own already.
Plus as a workout option, you can choose to make it as easy or as hard as you like by choosing routes that are either flat or hilly, and can easily burn more calories by increasing your walking pace or increasing the length of your walks.
Finally, because there is so much to see on any given walk and so much to keep your mind occupied, you will find it a lot less boring than a workout on a treadmill.
The Drawbacks Of Walking Outside
There is one major factor that can prevent you from walking outside and that’s the weather. Harsh winters in many countries will prevent a lot of people from walking outside, and cold rainy days throughout the rest of the year can put many people off as well.
Similarly, as I am currently staying in Bangkok basking in temperatures of nearly 40 degrees, I know all too well that it is simply too hot in some countries to walk very far without being covered in sweat.
Walking outside is not really an attractive proposition for those people who live in crowded and polluted cities either because navigating the streets can be a stressful experience instead of a relaxing one.
The Benefits Of Using A Treadmill
One of the main benefits of using a treadmill is that you can set the amount of time that you want to walk for, and can increase the intensity of your workout, ie the level of incline, with the touch of a button. You don’t need to map out routes in your local area to find hilly terrains that will give you a tougher workout, for example.
Indeed if you check out our treadmill reviews, you will see that some machines, such as the ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill, for example, provide you with decline settings so that you can walk downhill if you so wish.
In addition, when you use a treadmill at home or in the gym, you are guaranteed to get a really good workout and can easily increase your activity level without having to worry about the weather.
Finally, the surface of a treadmill is a lot easier on your feet than many outside surfaces, and there is obviously less chance of you turning your ankle over on a treadmill.
The Drawbacks Of Using A Treadmill
The one factor that will put many people off using a treadmill is of course the cost because you either have to join a gym and pay monthly membership fees or buy your own treadmill that you can use at home, which can set you back a lot of money.
Another drawback is that if you go to the gym during the busiest times of the day, you might find that you have to wait a long time to use one of the treadmills because so many people are using them.
Finally, it has to be pointed out that walking on a treadmill is incredibly dull and tedious, even if you are listening to music, and is nowhere near as enjoyable or as stimulating as walking outside. Subsequently it is a lot harder to motivate yourself to keep going to the gym when you know that you have to endure yet another miserable workout on the treadmill.
Is It Better To Walk Outside Or Use A Treadmill?
To sum up, I would say that it is hard to recommend one form of exercise over the other because every individual has different goals and objectives, and has different personal circumstances.
If you have some disposable income to spend on a gym membership, or if you can afford to buy your own machine, then a treadmill is probably the better option because you can increase the intensity of your workout to replicate the feeling of walking up hills, and therefore burn more calories just by touching a button.
Plus it is also ideal if you are someone who wants to gets a consistent workout every time, or if you want to change up your routines on a regular basis as your fitness level starts to improve.
Using a treadmill is also the perfect solution if you live in a relatively flat area, or live in a bustling city, for instance, and it is also an attractive option if you live in a very cold, hot or rainy country where walking outside is not really an option most of the time.
It will also place less stress on your joints if you have any existing problems with your hips, knees, feet or ankles, for example.
If, however, you live in the beautiful countryside with agreeable weather, then taking a walk in the great outdoors is probably the best option in this scenario, particularly if there are plenty of hills to climb should you wish to burn more calories.
It is also preferable if you have a limited budget and can’t really afford to join a gym or buy your own treadmill because all you need is a pair or walking boots or trainers.
Ultimately it doesn’t really matter which option you choose. The important point is that you actually take action because this is a gentle low-impact exercise that is capable of reducing your waistline, increasing your activity levels and improving your overall health.