Where is it more useful to run – in the park or in the gym?

For those of us who have made the rash decision to lead a healthier lifestyle after the holiday frills, jogging is an obvious and popular way out.

But what is the best and most useful way to run – under the open sky, accompanied by wind and rain, or on a special dynamic track in the hall, looking at your reflection in the mirror wall?

Energy costs

First, which of the two approaches will bring the desired result faster, that is, an increase in the fitness of the body?

Proponents of outdoor running believe that wind resistance is an important factor in increasing endurance and weight loss. But fans of classes in the hall strongly disagree with this. In a study conducted at the University of Exeter , Professor Andrew Jones measured the energy expenditure of nine men while running in the park and then in the hall, but with different loads, which were determined by the degree of incline of the machine. He found that the added stress of running outdoors was easily offset by increasing the machine’s incline by just 1 degree.


It is useful to know that when running on a simulator, a person tends to overestimate his speed. According to a study conducted in Singapore, people in the hall do not have the usual visual landmarks by which they usually determine their speed.

We can conclude that when running in a park or forest, we unconsciously put in more effort than in the gym.


Of course, in the hall you are unlikely to fall on a tree branch, and you are not in danger of tripping over a stone or slipping on a dog track. But doctors are aware of an injury that is inherent only to those who run on a simulator – this is an injury from constant monotonous physical activity.

The fact is that on the simulator there is a great temptation to run at a constant pace, like a squirrel in a wheel. An endless repetition of the same type of movements can lead to injury to the ligaments or joints. Doctors recommend interspersing the load from running by changing the mode of the running program and the angle of the simulator.

Running outdoors is much more varied, as you have to change speed and load all the time to adapt to the terrain and surface. Research shows that this varied running style not only strengthens the ligaments and activates a larger set of muscles, but also strengthens the balance instinct.


Intuitively, we all think that running outdoors is more pleasant and beneficial because you get closer to nature. But is it really so?

Not so long ago, scientists from the University of Exeter conducted a study on this issue and came to unambiguous conclusions.

They concluded that exercise in nature, especially when surrounded by trees, is associated with a feeling of cheerfulness, reduces nervous tension, irritation and depression, and increases energy levels.

They also found that people who run in the park enjoy it more and are more likely to keep going. Whether this desire translates into action is another matter.

Another reason for running outdoors is the ability to increase blood levels of vitamin D thanks to the sun’s rays that hit us while jogging. Although in our country this factor, especially in winter, is negligible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *