Simran Kataria- 02 October 2022
Benefits of Incline Walking
WWhat is incline walking?
Incline walking refers to walking on a sloped surface much like a walk on a hill, which makes the body work harder and burns more calories than a slower pace.
Here are 5 benefits of incline walking:
1. Boosts your heart rate
Any type of exercise will get your heart rate up. And walking is no exception.
By adding an incline to your daily stroll, you can really get your blood pumping.
A 2013 study that measured the effects of incline running found that a 2 to 7 percent incline increased heart rate by almost 10 percent when compared with running on a flat surface.
2. Works out your hamstrings and glutes
Walking on a flat surface engages your quadriceps (aka quads), but it doesn’t require a lot of work from your glutes or hamstrings.
Adding an incline to your walking or running will help you activate these muscles Your body will thank you for strengthening this muscle group.
A strong posterior chain reduces your chance of injury and improves your posture, and it’s essential for boosting athletic performance.
3. Gives you calves of steel
Your lower legs have a bunch of muscles, including the tibialis anterior, peroneals, gastrocnemius, and soleus. (These are the muscles in and around your calves.)
Research suggests that walking on an incline significantly increases activity in the peroneal muscles compared with walking on a flat surface. This means incline walking is a great exercise for strengthening weak ankles — perfect if you’re recovering from an injury.
4. Burns more calories
The number of calories you burn through exercise varies. But generally speaking, the higher intensity the workout, the more calories you’ll burn. And what’s higher intensity than flat land? An incline.
A 2012 study that analyzed the metabolic cost of walking on an incline found that adding either a 5 or 10 percent incline significantly increased metabolic output.
5. Has a lower impact on your joints than running
Running can be a great way to get in shape, but it’s a high impact exercise. It puts significant strain on your joints, and that increases your chance of injuring yourself.
A 2014 study found that walking on an incline can be even better for your lower joints than walking on flat land. The research suggests that walking up a 10 to 20 percent grade can actually help reduce your risk of joint damage.
Incline walking- for your body, heart and mind:
Incline walking increases stamina not only in your legs but also in many other areas. From your calves up to your upper thighs, there are obvious places where there will be an obvious increase.
Areas that might not immediately come to mind include your lungs, brain and heart. While working out on the treadmill, your lungs will work much harder than if you were on a level surface. In return, your lungs will become stronger and more conditioned, which is why this exercise is a great way to train for longer runs, marathons, etc.
Your brain also benefits from working out at an incline, as you’re pushing your mind and body to places you have potentially never pushed it before.
You will be training and showing your brain that your body can do these intense workouts. Your brain is usually what keeps you from pushing yourself as far as you can while working out, telling you that you cannot do it.
Incline training will show and train your brain to tell yourself that you can do it.
Last, your heart will gain stamina. When exercising on an incline, your heart rate will be much higher than if you were working out on a level surface. Your heart is working harder and becomes stronger. This is also a great way to lower your blood pressure, as your heart will strengthen over time to the point where it won’t need to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body.
Why we encourage it:
Whether you do it outside or on a treadmill, incline walking benefits the body in numerous ways - and as such is an excellent exercise to add to your workout regime.
Walking is a natural movement for humans, and adding an incline is a great way to make this movement a little more challenging in order to reap additional benefits.
It's a great way of working both the lower leg and some of the posterior chain muscles, whilst at the same time causing less impact on the knees as the incline takes away some of the strain.
Sources: https://greatist.com/fitness/walking-on-incline https://www.veincenteratiowaheart.com/blog/5-benefits-to-incline-walking/#