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Walking Uphill on the Treadmill for Better Results

By Sabine Dorothy Docteur

Walking is a great exercise that can help us lose weight and reach ambitious fitness goals. As weather fluctuates, walking on a treadmill indoors is a great alternative. Exercising outside while enjoying fresh air is great, but when this is not an option, we need a way to lose the utmost calories. Running will usually give us the optimum calorie loss as far as cardio options go. Walking can be effective but adding an incline to the mix adds many great benefits to this cardio exercise.

Good for Your Heart

When you first begin, during warm-up, an incline is not required. The reason is because it is better to ease into it. The incline has many different purposes. Walking uphill will help increase your heart rate. In this way, it contributes tremendously to heart health. Brisk walking is the best way to ensure that your cardio truly counts toward your fitness goals. Adding the incline adds an extra boost to help you reach that goal even faster. Reaching the maximum heart rate for your age group happens quicker -- and cardiovascular fitness is improved -- because of the increase of workload on the heart.

Challenge Your Walk

On the treadmill, walking on an incline helps to shed body fat because it forces the body to use the stored fat as fuel to get up that hill. It is a challenge but the incline is sure to build up muscles of the legs, such as the calves and hamstrings. The body is forced to use the glutes and the quadriceps muscles as support for endurance during your walk. Most treadmills have the ability to go up to 15 degrees on the incline scale. Pushing yourself to the limit will propel the body against gravity and shed the bothersome calories.

Tread Properly

While challenging your walk on the treadmill by using the incline option is a great way to lose calories and shed pounds, there are some actions that must be avoided for the best workout results. First, you should be careful when first beginning. My suggestion is not to begin on a high speed. That is plain dangerous and unpredictable, especially if a misstep happens. Next, do not hang on to the handrails. Doing this will be counterproductive and the leg muscles will not experience the necessary full effects of the workout. Moving with your hands freely on the machine is the best way to go.

If you want optimum results on your treadmill workout indoors, try walking on an incline. It's your own indoor hill or mountain, so why not pump up and climb up. You will not regret the great benefits.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greensboro, N.C.

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