If you want to know the benefits of incline treadmill walking, this article will show you what happens to your body when you do incline walking for 30 minutes a day.
The treadmill is a great workout equipment to have at home. It allows you to work out without stepping outside.
Walking outdoors can give you better results than walking on a treadmill because your body uses more energy to fight resistance from wind and hills. However, you can make treadmill workouts as challenging as walking outdoors by setting it on incline.
Setting treadmill incline at 1 percent creates the same resistance as walking outdoors on a flat surface. Anything higher than 1% will make your workouts more challenging (and rewarding) than walking outdoors.
Incline treadmill walking can transform your body quickly. You can expect to see results in as little as 2 weeks if you walk for 30 minutes every day.
The treadmill incline percentage to use varies from person to person depending on level of fitness. That said, I will show you the best percentage to use at the end of the article.
First, let’s look into the benefits of incline treadmill waking for 30 minutes a day.
Benefits of incline treadmill walking
1. Builds muscles faster
If you want to tone your legs and butt, incline treadmill walking is the way to go. Walking on incline tones the glutes, hamstrings, and calves more than walking on a treadmill without incline.
According to this study, using a 9-degree treadmill incline increased glute activation by 345% and hamstrings showed a 635% increase in muscular activity. Researchers also found that increasing speed led to an increase in muscular activity. Muscle activity increases significantly when incline is set at 3 degrees and above.
Walking on incline can also tone your abs since you’re forced to engage the core.
Combine incline treadmill walking with bodyweight exercises if you want to tone your butt and thighs fast.
2. Burns more calories
The body burns more calories when you walk on hills. Walking on incline is similar to walking on hills.
Someone who weighs 130 pounds will burn approximately 120 calories when walking on a treadmill without incline for 30 minutes at 4mph. Setting incline at 5 percent will burn 200 calories. At 10 percent, he/she will burn 280 calories for the same duration. Note that the heavier you are, the more calories you burn. Notably, increasing speed burns more calories.
Avoid holding the handrails if you want to burn lots of calories. Swing your arms, as you would when walking up a mountain.
3. Increases endurance
Walking on incline for 30 minutes a day can increase muscular endurance. Building endurance will improve your athleticism and make it easier to perform daily tasks like climbing stairs or cleaning the house.
4. Makes your heart stronger
Walking on incline elevates your heart rate, which in return strengthens the heart. Keep your heart rate between 70 to 80 percent of maximum heart rate when walking on the treadmill.
For people who can’t run due to joint pain or injuries, incline walking may be the safest way to improve heart health without strain.
It’s important to mention that treadmill incline walking improves circulation, allowing all organs to get enough oxygen and nutrients.
5. Strengthens your bones
You probably know that we lose bone mass as we grow older. Well, incline walking is a great way to keep your bones strong and lower risk of fractures.
Walking on incline puts pressure on the bone tissues and forces them to become stronger.
Women can greatly benefit from this exercise since they have higher risk of osteoporosis. But you want to start with low incline percentage if you already have weak bones or joint problems. Alternatively, you can focus on doing non-weight bearing exercises.
6. Promotes fast fat loss
Incline treadmill walking can help you burn excess body fat without muscle loss. Walking for 30 minutes every day will burn a significant amount of fat.
If you’ve been struggling with stubborn belly fat, this is the perfect exercise for you. Research shows that low intensity cardio is the best for targeting stubborn fat.
As long as your diet is on point, incline walking will help you lose fat without losing muscle.
7. Low injury risk
Did you know that one-fourth of injured women and one-third of injured men quit their workout programs? Therefore, it’s important to do exercises with low injury risk, especially if you’re out of shape.
Incline walking is a low impact exercise, which can be done by people with sensitive joints. Additionally, incline walking loosens the calves and Achilles tendons, and consequently reduces risk of injury.
Note that incline walking puts pressure on the lower back so use low percentage if you have lower back pain. Reducing speed can also lower risk of injury.
You may be surprised to find out that walking on incline is safer than walking on treadmill without incline. According to this study, increasing incline by 3 percent reduces impact on the legs by 24 percent.
A treadmill with incline allows you to get all the benefits of walking or running on hills without stepping out of the house. This means that you don’t have to skip workouts due to bad weather.
Additionally, most treadmills can monitor heart rate and this will help you adjust your pace to maintain optimal heart rate.
9. Saves time
Incline treadmill walking is a good exercise for busy people. It can give you the benefits of a 1-hour workout in 30 minutes.
The fact that you will see results in a short duration will also motivate you to exercise regularly. If you’re too busy, make sure you walk for at least 15 minutes a day.
10. Reduces monotony
Walking on a treadmill can get boring after a while. Using incline is a great way to change things up and kill boredom.
You may also want to try different variations like walking sideways or backwards.
Treadmill incline percentage
As I mentioned earlier, high treadmill incline percentage has more benefits. But that doesn’t mean you should use the highest percentage. Set an incline percentage that is challenging but not too challenging that you’re struggling to walk.
A safe place to start is 3 percent. Then gradually increase the percentage, as you get fitter.
Do the same thing with speed. Start with a pace of 3 mph then gradually increase it.
As you can see, incline treadmill walking has many benefits. But to enjoy these benefits you have to walk consistently. Workout for 30 minutes a day, at least 5 times a week.
It’s always advisable to start slow, especially if you’re out of shape. If you’re morbidly obese, start with 15-minute workouts then increase duration as you get fitter and stronger.
Will you add incline treadmill walking to your routine?