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Which is Better for Exercise: Walking Outdoors or Using a Treadmill?

by Harmony Fitness/Ece, 02.2024

Walking is a simple and effective form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Whether you prefer to walk outside or on a treadmill, both options have their own unique benefits. In this article, we will explore the benefits of walking outdoors versus on a treadmill and how it can impact your weight loss journey.

Why Walking is a Great Form of Exercise

Before we dive into the benefits of walking outdoors versus on a treadmill, let's first understand why walking is a great form of exercise in general.

Low Impact and Easy on Joints

Walking is a low-impact exercise, meaning it puts less stress on your joints compared to other forms of exercise like running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This makes it a great option for people with joint pain or injuries, as well as those who are just starting their fitness journey.

Can Be Done Anywhere

One of the best things about walking is that it can be done almost anywhere. You don't need any special equipment or a gym membership to go for a walk. This makes it a convenient and accessible form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

Walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. It gets your heart rate up and increases blood flow, which can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Aids in Weight Loss

Walking is a great way to burn calories and aid in weight loss. The number of calories burned while walking depends on factors such as your weight, speed, and terrain. On average, a person can burn around 100-300 calories per mile walked.

Benefits of Walking Outdoors

Exposure to Fresh Air and Nature

One of the biggest benefits of walking outdoors is the exposure to fresh air and nature. Being outside can boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall mental well-being. It also allows you to take in the sights and sounds of nature, which can be a great way to relax and unwind.

benefits of walking in the nature

More Challenging Terrain

Walking outdoors often means encountering different terrains such as hills, uneven surfaces, and varying weather conditions. This can make your walk more challenging and help you burn more calories. It also engages different muscles in your body, providing a more well-rounded workout.

Vitamin D Absorption

Walking outdoors also allows your body to absorb vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being. Just make sure to wear sunscreen and protect your skin from too much sun exposure.

benefits of walking


Walking outdoors is a cost-effective form of exercise. You don't need any special equipment or a gym membership, making it a budget-friendly option for those looking to stay active.

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet- Thic Nhat Hanh

Benefits of Walking on a Treadmill

benefits of treadmill

Controlled Environment

One of the biggest benefits of walking on a treadmill is the controlled environment. You can adjust the speed, incline, and even track your progress on a treadmill. This can be helpful for those who are just starting their fitness journey or for those who want to track their progress over time.

Protection from Weather Conditions

Walking on a treadmill also means you don't have to worry about weather conditions. This can be especially beneficial during extreme weather conditions like rain, snow, or extreme heat. You can still get your daily walk in without having to worry about the weather.

Easier on Joints

While walking is generally a low-impact exercise, walking on a treadmill can be even easier on your joints. The cushioned surface of a treadmill can help absorb some of the impact on your joints, making it a great option for those with joint pain or injuries.

Convenience and Accessibility

Having a treadmill at home means you can walk whenever it's convenient for you. You don't have to worry about finding a safe and suitable place to walk, and you can even watch TV or listen to music while you walk.

Walking for Weight Loss

Both walking outdoors and on a treadmill can be effective for weight loss, but there are a few factors to consider.

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Calorie Burn

As mentioned earlier, the number of calories burned while walking depends on factors such as speed and terrain. Walking outdoors may provide a more challenging terrain, leading to a higher calorie burn. However, you can also adjust the speed and incline on a treadmill to increase the intensity of your walk.


Consistency is key when it comes to weight loss. Walking on a treadmill at home may be more convenient and accessible, making it easier to stick to a regular walking routine. However, if you enjoy being outdoors and find it more motivating, then walking outside may be a better option for you.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, the best form of exercise for weight loss is the one that you enjoy and can stick to consistently. If you prefer the fresh air and scenery of walking outdoors, then that may be the best option for you. If you enjoy the convenience and controlled environment of a treadmill, then that may be the better choice.

There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. – Ralph Marston


Walking is a great form of exercise that can be done both outdoors and on a treadmill. Both options have their own unique benefits, and the best one for you depends on your personal preferences and goals. Whether you choose to walk outdoors or on a treadmill, the most important thing is to stay consistent and

enjoy the process. Happy walking!

walking benefits


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Teas J, Hurley T, Msph SG, Mph KO. Walking outside Improves Mood for Healthy Postmenopausal Women. Clinical medicine Oncology. 2007;1. doi:10.4137/CMO.S343

Olafsdottir, G., Cloke, P., Schulz, A., van Dyck, Z., Eysteinsson, T., Thorleifsdottir, B., & Vögele, C. (2020). Health Benefits of Walking in Nature: A Randomized Controlled Study Under Conditions of Real-Life Stress. Environment and Behavior, 52(3).

Lee, S. J., & Hidler, J. (2008). Biomechanics of overground vs. treadmill walking in healthy individuals. Journal of applied physiology, 104(3), 747-755.

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