As a runner, nothing compares to running al fresco, in addition to the fact you have the benefit of taking your four legged friend with you. I live in an area where there are miles of trails through the woods, and you can't beat that experience. I get my outdoor fix while burning calories and getting in shape. The hills give me an added challenge.

Of course, for numerous reasons, many people rely on a treadmill for their cardio workout. Admittedly there are some limitations to running on a treadmill and lack of scenery is one of them. Many argue that you just do not get as intense of a workout. Which makes sense when you consider that you have a motor pushing the running surface below you. However, there are certain benefits of a treadmill.

First, you can run all year long. When I lived in Illinois I can remember those winter days when it was below zero and running was not an option. In fact, it was hazardous to your health. I typically avoided running when it was less than 10 degrees, and that miserable. Brrrrrr! In addition, you are not limited to running during the daylight hours. Once again, come winter you have a window of opportunity. It is usually dark when you go to work and come home.
Second, today's treadmills are a vast improvement in quality from several years ago, and you tend to get more for less. One big improvement is in the shock absorption. The technologies that reduce the impact substantially in comparison to running on concrete or asphalt. In the long run, treadmill runners will probably outlast outdoor runners. They will suffer less injuries and strains an stress to their joints. And don't forget the potential for twisted ankles on trails.

Finally, there are a number of treadmills that offer features to reduce the boredom of running in place and to motivate you. NordicTrack has treadmills with android browsers, where you can go online as you run. Also they have a feature called iFit Live that allows you to create custom programs to train for races. In addition, you can map out routes on Google maps and your treadmill will simulate the terrain. A couple of models not only incline, but also decline. You can view your progress on Google Maps with a laptop. You can read about some of these models at the following web

Bottomline, when possible, Max the dog and I will run the trails, but when nature does not cooperate my treadmill is a great alternative. Although Max gives me the sad dog look.

Author's Bio: 

Fred Waters is a recognize fitness equipment industry expert. He is the author of the Treadmil Ratings and Reviw site.