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Hit the Road, Jack and Joan

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If you're a treadmill junkie, you may want to spice up your life by taking to the great outdoors

If you're a treadmill junkie, you may want to spice up your life by taking to the great outdoors. Not only will you benefit from the changed workout, your bones will thank you for it, too. A recent study released in the British Journal of Sport Medicine shows that the varied surfaces in an outdoor workout provide a higher physical challenge and can stimulate bone growth to a greater degree than the surface of a treadmill. The authors of the study compared lower leg bone response to treadmill running with running outdoors.

While treadmill running tends to be safer because runners are less likely to fall or fracture a bone, those who ran outdoors had greater bone development and strengthening. If you're just beginning an exercise program, it's probably best to take to the treadmill, as this surface is less trying on your body. As you become more adept at continuous movement, consider adding outdoor training to your fitness regimen. Your bones will love you for it.

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