The key to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle is to keep moving with daily aerobic exercise. Jogging is quite possibly the best known aerobic exercise -- it's simple to do and it burns calories while benefiting your heart and lungs. You can jog on a treadmill or outdoors. Both methods offer the same results, but there are a few differences that you should consider based on your personal preferences.
Cost and Equipment
Jogging on the road costs you nothing, while jogging on a treadmill costs you either the full price of a treadmill or a monthly gym membership. In either case, it's important that you have comfortable jogging shoes. Visit a reputable shoe store with a sales staff that can assist you with finding the best shoes for your feet. Get jogging clothes that are easy to move in and that wick away moisture. Sweatbands work for keeping sweat off of certain areas of your body. Listening to music while jogging can keep you entertained, but when jogging on the street, it's important to keep the volume at a level where you can hear what's going on around you.
Jogging on the road offers you an opportunity to go out in the world and see different things as you jog, but you may have to contend with traffic, weather conditions and tripping hazards. When jogging on a treadmill, your view doesn't change unless you are watching TV. However, the treadmill offers a sheltered environment in which you won't have to contend with the elements, traffic or other obstructions. If you prefer to work out at night, the treadmill is by far a safer option.
Jogging outside is more of a commitment than jumping on a treadmill. With a treadmill you can jump off at any time and stop, while street jogging requires you to finish your route. This is a good way to motivate you, but it can be bothersome if your legs cramp up or if you happen to choose a route that's too long.
Treadmills have speed and incline settings to add intensity to your workouts. Street jogging allows you to run as fast as you like, but you will have to choose a route with hills if you want to run up an incline. Running on either surface works all the major muscles of the legs, such as the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. The number of calories burned depends on the roads you jog and the settings you have on the treadmill. For instance, jogging up hills or on an incline burns more calories than jogging on a flat surface. Adding ankle weights and hand weights to either jogging method increases resistance.
Running on a treadmill requires you to keep in stride with the track, which can feel unnatural. It helps to adjust the speed setting to sync with a comfortable speed, but even then you will have to hold back when you get a surge of energy. Street jogging is free-form with nothing other than yourself to govern your speed.
If you insist on night jogging outdoors, stick to residential roads with low speed limits and wear reflective clothing. Carry a cellphone whenever you go jogging outside so you can call for help in case you are injured or in danger. Jog with a friend if you choose to jog at night.
- MayoClinic.org: It's Never Too Late to Enjoy Benefits of a Well-Rounded Exercise Program
- Spine-Health: Treadmills for Exercise and Pain Relief; Megan Tyner, ACE, Personal Trainer
- Nike.com: Night Runner: 8 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark
- TheRunningCompany.net: The Importance of Proper Running Shoes; Stephen Kominsky, DPM, FACFAS of Mid-Atlantic Podiatry Associates Specialty in Sports Medicine and Reconstructive Foot Surgery
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images