Every day the average U.S. adult takes 3,000-4,000 steps. That may sound like a lot, but most adults should be getting much more walking in.
You may be one of them, in which case, you are probably looking to take more steps throughout the day. Fortunately, that's easy to do, especially if you add a walking routine to your schedule.
You can choose to walk on level ground, but if you want more of a challenge, desire to work out different muscles, or want to mix up your exercise routine, you should try incline walking.
The benefits of incline walking include all the benefits of regular walking and more.
What Is Incline Walking
Incline walking is simply walking uphill at an incline instead of on level ground. The steeper the incline the greater the demand on the muscles used, which includes calves, hamstrings, and glutes. That's because walking uphill adds a natural resistance: gravity.
Upper torso muscles are also used, since walking forward leads to leaning forward in order to maintain your balance.
Incline walking is a type of cardio exercise. It is generally recommended that you get 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week.
However, always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine. This is especially true if you have medical conditions such as diabetes. Your doctor may recommend diabetic footwear.
The Benefits of Incline Walking
1. Strengthens Leg Muscles Plus Cardio
Incline walking has all the health benefits of a regular walk, plus several more due to how your muscles are used. This leads to building and strengthening those muscles, plus the benefits of cardio: reducing your stress, lowering blood pressure, raising your heart rate, and even extending your life.
Unlike walking on a flat surface, walking up an incline burns more calories. Even at a slow pace, your body needs to exert more effort to get uphill.
2. Prepares Your Body for Realistic Terrain
Incline walking also prepares your body for realistic terrain. A treadmill walk may be beneficial, but rarely in the real world will you be walking on perfectly level ground. Walking up an incline forces your body to use your muscles to maintain balance.
3. It's Safe
Incline walking is also safe. Like regular walking, it is low impact and easy on your joints. Your overall risk of injury is lower than other strenuous activities such as running.
Incline walking doesn't require any special equipment. You will need walking shoes much like you would for an outdoor walk, and comfortable clothes, but otherwise, you're set. That makes for some affordable workout gear!
Take up Incline Walking for Your Health
No one likes to think about losing their health or having a deteriorating quality of life. However, the benefits of incline walking, when combined with other types of exercise and a healthy diet, improve your overall health and well-being.
Looking for your next pair of walking shoes? We have a wide variety of colors and styles available for men and women. Check out our walking shoes here.