The Benefits of Incline Walking
Walking is a great form of exercise that can be done almost anywhere, but have you ever considered walking on an incline? Walking on an incline, either outdoors or on a treadmill, can provide a host of health benefits that regular flat walking can't.
Also, it can be combined with walking up the stairs, walking at a different speed, and even under different loads, helping burn tons of calories and increase overall strength and stamina.
Published: February 28, 2023.
Health Benefits of Walking on an Incline
Walking on an incline has many benefits but also some drawbacks. If You have health issues, consider contacting your doctor or physician before starting any new workout and nutrition protocol.
Conditions the body
Walking on an incline is an excellent way to condition your body, as it engages more muscles than flat walking. By walking uphill, you are not only working your leg muscles, but you are also engaging your glutes, core, and back muscles.
Walking on an incline is a low-impact exercise, making it an excellent option for those who want to avoid the strain and impact of running. This makes incline walking an excellent option for individuals of all fitness levels.
Boosts heart rate
Walking on an incline also boosts your heart rate, providing an excellent cardiovascular workout. Walking on an incline challenges your body to work harder to overcome the resistance provided by the slope.
This increased resistance means your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your muscles, providing an excellent cardio workout.
Muscles Being Worked Out
As mentioned earlier, walking on an incline engages more muscles than regular flat walking. Walking uphill engages your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles.
This makes incline walking an excellent option for individuals who want to tone and strengthen their leg muscles while also working on their core.
Low Impact Exercise
Incline walking is a low-impact exercise, making it a great option for those who want to avoid the impact and strain of running. Walking on an incline puts less stress on your joints than running, reducing the risk of injury.
Increased Burned Calories
Walking on an incline also burns more calories than regular flat walking. The increased resistance provided by the slope means you have to work harder to walk, burning more calories in the process.
Walking on an incline can burn up to 50% more calories than flat walking, making it an excellent option for individuals who want to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
Common Incline Slopes and Gradients
Incline walking can be done both indoors and outdoors.
If you're using a treadmill, most machines offer incline settings that range from 0% to 15%. If you're walking outdoors, the slope of the terrain will determine the incline gradient.
A moderate incline is between 5% to 10%, while a steep incline is anything above 10%.
If you are new to walking on an incline, start gradually. Also, consider wearing a smartwatch or similar wearable electronic device that allows you to monitor your heart rate, especially if you have any issues with your heart, lungs, or anything similar.
In the case of any health issues, consider working out under supervision or using treadmills in the gym or your home - set the unit to a low incline, start slowly, monitor your heart, and adjust the speed and incline as recommended by your doctor or physician.
Walking Up The Stairs
Walking up the stairs is another form of walking on an incline, allowing the trainee to stress quads, calves, and glutes and requiring the heart and lungs to transport plenty of oxygen to hard-working muscles.
Walking up the stairs also stress muscles in a different way than walking on flat terrain, walking up the hill, or running, so it should be done when possible as an addition to other cardio workouts.
Note: If You don't have a slope/hill with plenty of stairs, a good stepping machine can help.
Cons of Walking on an Incline
While walking on an incline offers many health benefits, there are also some cons to consider.
Walking on an incline can be challenging, especially if you're not used to it. It can also put more strain on your muscles, so it's important to start slowly and gradually increase the incline over time.
Additionally, walking on a steep incline can be risky for individuals with balance issues, joint problems, and heart/lungs issues.
Few Final Words
Walking on an incline is an excellent way to get a full-body workout that engages more muscles than regular flat walking.
It's a low-impact exercise that is perfect for individuals of all fitness levels, and it provides a host of health benefits, including increased calorie burn and cardiovascular endurance.
Whether you're walking uphill on a treadmill or hiking in the great outdoors, incline walking is a fantastic addition to any fitness routine.