While running in itself is an excellent health booster—it helps to lower stress, reduce the risk of heart disease, and strengthen joints—many turn to it for its calorie-burning abilities. And, during the summer months, some of us are left to wonder whether our grueling outdoor workouts are of greater caloric assistance than those on an air-conditioned treadmill.
Well, here’s some great news for lovers of the great outdoors: medical professionals note that you burn about three to seven per cent more calories outside than you do indoors. This can be attributed to lack of wind resistance in doors, as well as the propelling motion of the treadmill. Also, changing incline levels and variance in speed can also contribute to this increase.
Additionally, working out on hot days adds some extra calorie-burning power: because the body has to work harder to return to its normal body temperature, you burn about one to five per cent more calories than you would on a cool day.
That being said, you must exercise cautiously outdoors, as added heat can lead to dehydration and overheating. What’s more, heat increases your rate of perceived exertion, which can cause you to end your workout sooner. As such, on a very hot day, amp up your indoor workout with increased incline and speed to even out the extra effort that outdoor running provides.