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A few years ago I started walking on a treadmill. After time, I started running on it.
I did that for a while and started to loose weight & was feeling better but my knees
& feet started hurting and taking a pounding. I noticed problems after waking up
the following morning after a workout. So I quit running and doing anything on the treadmill.
After a year I just quit running and my feet & knees got better. I check them
out and the doctor said they are fine but now I want to start running on the
treatmill . So I start building up form a walk to a short .5-1 mile runs on
the treadmill. Now my ankles are acking (not my knees) and giving me trouble so I stop
to let them recover. I especially notice the ankles acking in the morning after
a workout. I quit for a week or so to recover but when I start walking on the
treadmill the problem shows up again. I use new balance shoes because the doctor says
I need a firm shoes to run in but problem occurs again. The doctor said I need a firm
shoes not the air spongy shoes. I had better luck with the spongy shoes but
he says I need a firm shoes. My shoes are a new-balance $100 shoes so they are good
shoes.
So is there an alternative to running on a tread mill and spend the same amount
of energy as running? Is there a way I can run on a treadmill without doing damage
to my feet? I was thinking about maybe using leg weights and walk
on the treadmill to make low impact exercise. Some people say there is a elliptical
machine that does very good but they are expensive.
I want a 60 min good work out at home but I don't want to spend another 60+ min or
so driving back and forth to a health club. I want to work out at home and get it
over with. I like the treadmill but the problems with the feet need to solved. I also
have a aero-dyne bicycle but it does not give as good of workout as the treadmill.

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Run outside.

I know that sounds simplistic, but there's a dark side to treadmilling few like to bring up. Every single footfall mimics the previous one. In running especially, the most common injury stems from repetition. With a little research, you'll find repetitive injuries are what hinder runners. And the dark side of treadmilling is that the belt and surface never vary and exponentially trigger repetitive injuires. A running buddy of mine is a physical therapist at the local hospital and this is his theory since he sees way more treadmill runners come through his door than outdoor runners.

That being said, I use a treadmill on occasion when the weather is nasty but am very conscious about not piling up run after run after run on the mill. What outdoor running does is create a different environment for your feet and legs. Each stride has to vary a bit as your brain picks the place for the next footfall. Contrary to what you might think is best for foot problems, getting out there on trails and soft surfaces is going to develop those tendons and muscle groups that control your footfall. The treadmill does nothing in this regard.

So again, my recommend.. get outside. Find a gravel road shoulder, a grassy park, a woodchip trail or do laps around your yard if you have to, but mix it up with the treadmill being your backup and the minority of your mileage.
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I agree with jrjo. Can you run outside at least part of the time? I split up my running between outside and the treadmill. I think the mill is great for a lot of things, but I think running outside works some of the supporting muscles a little more.
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