Treadmill: Does it Help You When it Comes to Trekking?

We like working out outdoors and indoors. There are benefits to doing both, but some activities can only be done outdoors. Trekking and mountain climbing come to mind. However, when the days are bleak and the sun is hidden behind a layer of clouds and it looks like it is going to rain for the rest of the day, we tend to rethink things and workout indoors.

Not all exercises that we do indoors will translate to the outdoors experience. Most will, but not all. The treadmill would surely help a trekker become better? It depends, and here is why.

Even and Predictable Versus Uneven

Treadmills are almost perfect. They move and you run on them. Nothing changes unless you want it to. These are perfect exercise conditions. You couldn’t ask for better ones, everything is in your control. Things are not the same outside, the trail is uneven and the twists and turns present a challenge for our ankles and achilles heel. While you could work on your endurance and muscle strength, the stabilizers and tendons which are active when you are outdoors will not get any exercise on the treadmill.

Incline Running – Treadmills Can Be Tough

Not everything is lost, obviously. A treadmill can have you running at full speed. You can also incline it, thus giving your legs a more intensive workout. If you then start jogging or running, your workout gets harder. You might not work on your stabilizers and have the variety which is present outside, but your legs and lungs will get a hefty workout.

Endurance is important for trekking and what better way to exercise endurance than to run uphill. When you cannot run uphill, then you can run uphill on a treadmill. The transfer of endurance will not be 100% but it will be more than enough for trekking.

It Depends on the Trek and Workout

If you are planning a very long trek that will take hours, maybe even a day, then you need to do long workout sessions on the treadmill. For some people, that is not possible. The treadmill is either boring or you are taking up space or you simply cannot be bothered to run that much. 

One needs to match their exercises and routines to the goals that they want to reach, otherwise, the exercises might not be effective at all. The treadmill can be very effective or not effective, depending on how one uses it and how that slots in with the rest of the exercise schedule.

Move Outside As Soon As Possible

As we know, practicing something in isolation is not as good as doing it where it was meant to be done. Trekking should be done outside, in the woods, so get out there and do it, whenever you get the chance to.

Treadmills are great for exercising, but they cannot replace actual trekking, even though they can be great tools for preparing one’s body for a longer or more difficult trek.

Treadmills are great for exercising and they can be effective for trekking if used efficiently.