Fitness Myth: Running on a treadmill is harsher on joints

Actually running on a treadmill is generally kinder on joints as treadmill surfaces are padded, thus reducing the impact upon landing on the heels as compared to running outdoor. This greatly helps in preventing strains in joints commonly associated with running on a concrete or tarmac surface.

In addition, you have full control of the running environment you want to create or require for your training. For example, you may choose a steep incline hill-running effect and further increase speed or resistance as you cover the distance. Instead of having to adapt to outdoor running surfaces and weather conditions, you can fully customize your running experience with a treadmill.

However also consider the drawback of a treadmill in its limitation of your body’s movement range, within a running frame only four-feet-wide. Therefore, if you plan to run long distances over five miles, or if are training for a race, outdoor running is still recommended as a complement to your treadmill training.

That said, all runners should focus on maintaining a proper running form regardless of where you run. A relaxed and mostly upright posture is the most effective, with a slight forward-lean of your whole body beginning at your ankles. Ensure that you keep your shoulders back and relaxed without leaning forward at the waist to avoid upper-body tension that will wreck your form.

For individuals easily susceptible to knee pain, we recommend a low-impact activity such as the elliptical trainer to substitute their cardiovascular workout.