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Is Running On A Treadmill Bad For Your Knees | Let’s Discover

One of the most common questions asked by people is " is running on a treadmill bad for your knees?" Well, this is somewhat a complex question, because we would say yes and no, depends on many factors.

Running is a high impact sport, that places strain on human's body. The repetitive pounding does tend to put more pressure on the ankles, knees, hips and even the lower spine. As far as running on a treadmill is concerned, however, it is actually slightly less jarring than running on a harder surface, such as concrete or tar.

The fact that running outdoors often could mean on uneven surface, poses an even greater risk to the knees. This is where running on a treadmill is a little gentler for our knees.

Indoors on a Treadmill, or Outdoors – Which Is Better?

is running on a treadmill bad for your knees

The answer may vary if you ask the enthusiastic runners, and those who prefer to run on indoor treadmill. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages but we will be focusing mainly on treadmill running in this post. Let's discuss further below.

Advantages of Treadmill

  • Less jarring, because the surface is more gentler than that of solid concrete or tar. Treadmill track is able to absorb most of the impact (depends on different brands), thereby putting little less strain to the knees and joints.
  • Your workout is measurable, because the advanced treadmill is able calculate distance, effort, heart rate and calories burned with the built-in features
  • You can go running without worry about the weather
  • It’s safe – you’re not at risk of being mugged or knocked down by a passing motor vehicles

Disadvantages of Treadmill

  • It can become monotonous, as you don’t get to see the changing scenery of the outdoors
  • Running 15 miles on a treadmill every day, will not prepare you for running 15 miles on the road. The action is different, because on a treadmill, the “ground” moves towards you, whereas the road is stationary. You will find that running outdoors is harder; so, don’t expect to train on a treadmill only, then you will be able to run a full marathon outdoors

Is Running on a Treadmill Easier?

The short answer? Yes – a little. 

It is a bit easier, because the ‘ground’ moves with your feet as they strike it. It is also on a completely flat surface, without any sudden, unexpected little indentations, or loose stones to throw you off-balance.

It is also slightly less harsh on the joints, thanks to the great absorption feature – but it is still jarring and should not be undertaken without the blessing of your physician. 

Benefits of Running on a Treadmill Daily

  • Helps to lose weight by burning more calories and fats
  • Doing an excellent form of cardio exercise, good for lungs and hearts
  • Building muscles (particularly the calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes)
  • Improve stamina and fitness level
  • Seeing the benefit of a leaner, more streamlined body
  • Shaking off a bit of belly fats
  • Good for your overall mental health as "happy hormone" is released during the process
  • Feel excited for your achievement when you are able to run longer distance and run faster

Final Thought

So, is running on a treadmill bad for your knees? We can see the pros have outweighed the cons. However, some measurements need to be taken for not risking your knees in order for you to run longer and faster. 

For instance, wear the right shoes is by far the most essential in running. You need to ensure you have a good pair of well fitted, shock absorbing, foot supporting running shoes, before you hit the treadmill.

    Verner Ellen

    Hi, my name is Verner Ellen. I am a homebody whose interest is in getting the best home tools and equipments to help with the the everyday house chores. I also love fitness, cooking and grilling. Maintaining a clean and comfortable home is my lifelong passion.