Treadmills or the old fashioned way – around the block?

How going for a walk can provide more a rounded health. 

These days it’s very easy to add cardio on a treadmill to your health regime, but is this really the best option? It does provide structure, lets you know how far and fast you have walked, and the more expensive options can allow you to change the inclines.

But let’s take a look at some advantages of the traditional method:

Using more muscles:

One weakness of using a treadmill is that it can tend to do some of the work for you. Instead of using the muscles at the back of your legs to pull the rest of your body forward, this action is done for you by the treadmill. This results in using fewer muscles to a lesser intensity than you otherwise would and you may benefit less from your time as a result. Walking outside forces exposure to different gradients, surfaces and conditions, as a result it may greatly improve you balance and control through your legs when using the small muscles in the legs and feet.

Neurological benefits:

Walking outside and walking socially may help control the balance between your nervous systems that’s so difficult to do these days. Exposure to the sun, nature and social interaction during a light-moderate exercise causes stimulus to the parasympathetic nervous system, this is the nervous system that tells your body it is time to relax recover and digest. This is a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of health and reducing stress.

Bone and joint advantages:

The low impact movement achieved while walking allows an increased blood flow while being less traumatic than other exercises, this is ideal in slowing the onset of some conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. The sun exposure that is associated with outdoor activity can also provide vitamin D which is critical to bone strength and a very common deficiency.

By no means are we suggesting anyone should give away exercising on a treadmill or at the gym, this is just a gentle reminder of some of the benefits complementing this with going for a walk can give.

Happy walking!

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