Direct Access

Do you have a musculoskeletal injury or pain, posture or balance problem? All of these can restrain your recreational activities or affect your everyday routine. It is likely a visit to your physician will result in a referral to physical therapy.

Many don't know that in the state of California consumers have direct access to physical therapy. This means that you can see a physical therapist without a referral from the doctor. Click Here to Read More

Knee pain (part 6) by Charles Alexander, DPT, PT

by jessicag, July 19, 2019

Final Thoughts

So to answer the original question: it depends. If you are running just to maintain cardiovascular benefits and typically do not enjoy running, then I would recommend running on a treadmill at moderate intensity for 30-45 minutes at least 3 times per week. If you like to participate in marathon running or more rigorous training, then I would recommend being more specific with outdoor free running routines. For individuals training for marathons you may also want to use a treadmill in your routine, but try to  ensure that no more than 40 percent of your overall training is being done on the treadmill. If you are looking for the best caloric burn in the shortest amount of time then it is important to remember that both options will work, but the calories are dependent on the effort you put in. Whether you choose free running or treadmill running always remember to stay safe. Recently it was stated by the University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands that anywhere from 7.2 percent to 50 percent of runners will experience some sort of injury. The joint at the highest risk of injury is the knee due to the impact at the ankle and how the hip reacts to the force with the knee taking the brunt of the force. If you are injured remember to give yourself time to heal and seek medical advice.

Always Remember

  1. Do what you like and take your preferences into consideration. It is always easier to continue a routine that you enjoy.
  2. Be safe. Whether you are on a treadmill or outdoors always be aware of your surroundings and your personal needs to help avoid injury.
  3. Treadmills are great for those who enjoy routine, control, and have the budget for it.
  4. Free running is great for those who enjoy the outdoors, a little challenge, and prefer to save some funds.
  5. Running is a great way to get started with a good cardiovascular routine, find what works for you and stick with it.



1.Andrew M. Jones, Jonathan H. Doust. “A 1% Treadmill Grade Most Accurately Reflects the Energetic Cost of Outdoor Running.” Journal of Sports Sciences, vol. 14, no. 4, 1996, pp. 321–327., doi:10.1080/026404196367796.


  1. Chock, Caitlin. “Indoor vs. Outdoor Running: 3 Things to Know About Treadmill Training.”,, 29 Oct. 2012,


  1. Quinn, Elizabeth, and Lyndsey Garbi. “Is a Treadmill or Outside Running Better?” Verywell Fit, Verywellfit,