Do you get as much benefit from a treadmill as you do from walking briskly outdoors? Now that the weather conditions prohibit me from walking outside, I want to make sure that I don’t lose the momentum that I get from walking outdoors.
Yes, walking on a treadmill can definitely be as beneficial as brisk walking out of doors, especially when the weather conditions are not great. That’s because you can be more consistent and focused with your indoor alternative. When you get cold or the roads are wet, you probably will cut your workouts short and you may be distracted, thinking you don’t want to slip or go to far in case you need another jacket.
When you switch to the treadmill, set your timer and choose a program that is challenging enough to keep you moving at the same speed or a little faster than what you did on the road. Usually 3.5 to 4 miles per hour is a good place to start, and you can adjust from there. If you want to get a great workout set your incline to about 6-8 percent. Walk as quickly as you can for several minutes at a time at that incline. Make sure you don’t lean backwards and put stress on your lower back. Continue to walk for about 45-50 minutes total.
On days when the weather permits, get outside again and do your regular program. It is a good idea to vary your workouts anyway, so your body doesn’t go on automatic. If the weather conditions wind up making you change your routine, that can be a plus in the long run.