Archive for the tag - incline

Does Running on a Treadmill Burn More Calories than Outside?

Studies show that there may be a slight caloric advantage to outside running.

There’s no doubt about it: Treadmill running is convenient. Rain, sleet, snow or shine – treadmill runners are untouched by weather conditions (unless, of course, you lose power). But for people looking to lose weight, how does the calorie burn of treadmills compare to running outside?

There have been a number of studies comparing treadmill running to outside running. The studies generally find outdoor running to be slightly advantageous when it comes to calories, though the extent of this advantage varies by speed. For individuals running between 5 and 9 miles per hour, running outside burns somewhere between 0% and 5% more calories. For individuals running at 10 miles per hour and above, running outside burns up to 10% more calories.

If you burn 400 calories inside, it would likely require an additional 0 – 40 calories (depending on your speed) to replicate the same workout outside. All in all, the difference is quite slight – but even small changes add up over time.

Treadmill running burns fewer calories because it’s easier. For one, the treadmill belt assists leg turnover, making it easier to run faster. When you run outside, you must propel your body forward to move. Moreover, when you run outside, you experience wind resistance – a condition that isn’t replicated with treadmill running. To account for these differences and better simulate outdoors running (especially if you are training for an outdoor running event), many people add a 1% to 2% incline on the treadmill.

The bottom line: Regardless of calories, select the type of training that works best for you, your schedule and your personality. Treadmill running isn’t for everyone; many people find it monotonousness and mind-numbing. Likewise, people with joint issues may prefer the extra cushion provided by treadmill running. Whether you do it outside or indoors, running can be a great way to get your cardiovascular exercise.

Running Uphill Vs. Flat: 5 Reasons to Love the Incline.

Last weekend, while staying at my aunt and uncle’s vacation house in Jackson, NH, I conquered “The Beast.”

My aunt and uncle live at the top of a long, winding mountain pass. The road is a few miles in length, but it climbs some 2,000 feet in elevation. To walk the beast is a challenge; to run the beast is nearly impossible. And yet on Sunday morning, that’s exactly what I did.

While the run was admittedly slow, I was successful in my effort. It wasn’t the length of the run that challenged me so much as the climb in elevation.

There are a few significant differences between uphill vs. flat running. Uphill running:

  1. Requires more energy. For every 1% increase in incline, runners expend 4% more energy. With a steep incline (like that of a mountain pass), the increases in energy expenditure are massive. Of course, the runner may need to slow down to compensate.
  2. Works upper leg muscles and butt. When running uphill, the engagement of your leg muscles shifts upward; it’s a great variation for frequent runners.
  3. Increases speed. While runners may need to slow down when running uphill, the muscles being strengthened are the same muscles required for sprinting. This will translate to faster times on flatter surfaces. Many sprinters train on inclines for this very reason.
  4. Reduces boredom. While running can get monotonous, adding an incline is a great way to spice things up. Whether outside or on a treadmill indoors, inclines can help keep things interesting.
  5. Increases workout efficiency. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that uphill running activates 9 percent more muscle each stride compared with exercising at the same relative intensity on level ground. Inclines give you more bang for your workout buck.

Most runners avoid hills or inclines because they’re difficult. In actuality, this is exactly why we need to do more of them. To that end, don’t be afraid to press the “incline” button on your treadmill; take your cardio to the next level. Instead of running around the hills, run through them. Attack – and conquer them.