When it comes to walking, most of us have a strong preference between walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill. We tend to think these activities are interchangeable from a health perspective, but are they? The surfaces that we walk on change the experience of our body and the muscles that we use.
Walking overground should be powered by the backs of our legs with our torso vertical. In order to propel us forward, our muscles generate a pushing action behind us to push the ground away. On the other hand, a treadmill forces our body to do exactly the opposite, relying on a walking pattern driven by the muscles in the front of the hip and thigh to catch yourself because the “ground” is coming toward you. Therefore, treadmill walking is not the same as walking overground.
So Why Does This Matter?
For most of us, the muscles of the fronts of our hips are already shortened due to time spent sitting every day. Treadmill use encourages further shortening and overuse of...
How much time do you spend thinking about how you move throughout the day? If you're not getting the health results you want, your movement is likely a huge factor!
Both your quantity and quality of daily movement come down to a matter of convenience. Today, moving more to accomplish daily tasks is perceived as an inconvenience. If you can outsource the effort to a device, why bother with the work yourself?
We now have access to devices serving the sole purpose of making our lives easier, from electronic kitchen appliances to phones, to vehicles. These devices externalize the work of our muscles, effectively outsourcing the work of our body. And we tend to rely more and more on these devices as we age.
“Upgrading” our products results in doing less work throughout the day. This is promoted by advertisers as a sign of status, progress, and luxury. A device that results in less work is the ultimate end goal and we encounter this message everywhere we turn.