Walking Vs Treadmill: A Comparison of Heart-Healthy Exercises

Both forms of exercise offer cardiovascular benefits and contribute to stronger bones.

Health walking
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by The Health Master

Walking Vs Treadmill:

As the prevalence of heart-related ailments continues to rise, the significance of regular exercise cannot be overstated.

Walking, in particular, is widely recognized as a heart-healthy practice, whether it’s a brisk stroll in the park or a session on the treadmill.

Both forms of exercise offer cardiovascular benefits and contribute to stronger bones.

However, when it comes to choosing between a walk in the park and a treadmill run/walk, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Dr. Debashish Chanda, an Orthopedics specialist at CK Birla Hospital Gurugram, provides insights into the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Let’s explore further.

Working Out on a Treadmill: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Treadmill Workouts:

Dr. Debashish Chanda highlights the advantages of working out on a treadmill:


One of the greatest advantages of treadmill workouts is their convenience. Whether at home or in the gym, you can exercise regardless of weather, time, date, or day.

Treadmills allow you to engage in physical activity at your own convenience without considering external factors.


Treadmills offer customization options, enabling you to adjust the speed, incline, and track your fitness progress. You can set personal goals and monitor metrics such as calories burned and heart rate.

Goal Tracking:

Treadmills provide an easy way to track your fitness goals. You can monitor various parameters, such as calories burned and heart rate, helping you stay on track with your exercise regimen.


Treadmills offer a safe workout platform with their smooth walking surface and adjustable incline. They can be joint-friendly, allowing individuals with knee issues to adjust the incline and make their workout more comfortable.

Disadvantages of Treadmill Workouts:


One major drawback of treadmill workouts is the potential for monotony. Whether at home or in the gym, the convenience factor can lead to boredom over time.

Lack of Fresh Air:

Treadmill workouts are conducted indoors, depriving you of the benefits of fresh air that come with outdoor walking or running.


Treadmills can be expensive, particularly as personal equipment. Basic models can cost at least Rs 25,000, while high-end ones can run into lakhs.

Additionally, there are maintenance and electricity costs to consider, along with the space required to accommodate the equipment.

Walking: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of Walking:

Dr. Debashish Chanda outlines the advantages of walking as a form of exercise:

Communing with Nature:

Walking allows you to exercise amidst nature, providing a refreshing and rejuvenating experience. Compared to a workout that feels like a chore, walking, especially when done with others, can be much more enjoyable.


Walking requires minimal financial investment. Apart from investing in a good pair of shoes, there is no need to purchase expensive equipment or a gym membership.

You can simply walk in your apartment complex, neighborhood park, or on the rooftop of your home.

Social Activity:

Walking can be a social activity, offering opportunities to meet friends, neighbors, and even make new connections. It serves as a platform for social interaction, and having a supportive circle of friends can be a great motivator.


With walking, you have the flexibility to choose different paths and vary your walking routine, keeping it fresh and avoiding monotony.

Disadvantages of Walking:

Weather Constraints:

Outdoor walking is subject to weather conditions, and extreme heat, cold, or rain can disrupt your walking schedule.

Safety Concerns:

In certain regions, like India, not everyone has access to safe walking trails. Factors such as an unsafe environment, uneven roads, or heavy traffic can pose safety risks when walking outdoors.

Walking vs. Treadmill: The Final Verdict

Dr. Debashish Chanda concludes that both walking and treadmill workouts have their own advantages and disadvantages.

He emphasizes that with the availability of pulse oximeters, smartphones, and fitness watches, even simple walking can be effectively tracked for fitness goals.

However, when considering the elderly population, treadmills hold a slight edge.

Many older individuals face joint problems, back issues, and osteoporosis, making walking a challenge when safe walking spaces are not readily accessible.

In such cases, investing in a basic treadmill can be a suitable alternative.


Both walking and treadmill workouts offer benefits, and the choice depends on individual preferences, constraints, and health conditions.

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