How Long Should you Walk Incline?


Walking at an incline or on a treadmill is a great way to warm up. Whether it’s before a high-intensity workout or even as a starter workout routine, what is the best way to walk on an incline? When using a treadmill, how long should you walk at an incline, and which method is best for probable and healthy weight loss?

Individuals should walk at an incline for 30 to 45 minutes a day to improve heart health, and bone strength, and promote weight loss. One workout, known as the 12-3-30 method, is walking at a 12 percent incline at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes. This is a low-impact exercise that enhances stamina.

To understand more about the benefits of walking at an incline, the different durations you should walk, or hiking alternatives, continue reading below!

How Long or Often Should I Walk at an Incline?

While walking every day can help you live a longer and healthier life, you can walk at an incline from up to 2 to 3 times a week or before your usual workout. If walking is your sole form of exercise, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a walk minimum of 30 minutes five days per week, or 2 hours and 30 minutes in total. This reduces the risk of disease later in life.

However, this information applies to walking, not walking at an incline. Is it still a good idea to do this every day for 30 minutes?

Studies show that walking at an incline every day will challenge and improve your muscular and cardiovascular endurance, or the body’s ability to keep going when fatigued. Additionally, walking at an include is considered more productive than walking flat. This challenge gives your body more benefits, thus using your workout time much more wisely.

What Incline Levels are Best for Weight Loss?

The best incline levels for weight loss are ones that challenge your body. This is best done by fluctuating the percentage for quicker weight loss, but if a slower or a consistent pace is better for your body type, this will still do the trick.

12-3-30 Method

One of the most simple incline walking methods includes the 12-3-30 method. This is the workout of walking at an incline of 12 percent at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes. This is a set pace and time frame where you are not calculating your weight and is great for beginners or for a simple warm-up.

Sample Workout

You can also adjust your incline percentage from the lowest setting to a maximum of 15 percent, all at your own pace. But if you need a bit more structure, here is one recommended workout.

To begin, set your workout at 3.5 at 5 miles per hour for the first five minutes. This warms up your muscles and puts your mind into a state of self-confidence. Every two minutes change the inline.

Go from 3.5 percent to 10 percent. Then 6 percent for a cool off, 10 percent once more, followed by 7 percent, then up to 12 percent. Then back to 10 percent, and ending at 12 percent. This back and forth gives your body time to cool off and recharge for the next challenge. End your workout at an incline of 4 percent for five minutes. This workout is a total of 48 minutes.

Weight Based Workout

You can also craft your workouts around your weight. If you multiply 2.72 by your weight in pounds, this will show how many calories you will burn in one hour walking at an incline at 3.5 miles per hour. Below is a chart for calories burned at different rates per hour.

Weight3.5 miles per hour4 miles per hour4.5 miles per hour
125 lbs240298356
155 lbs270334400
185 lbs300372444
215 lbs330408488

What are the Benefits of Incline Walking?

Walking regularly has great physical benefits. It helps you keep a natural weight and combat body fat, as well as prevent conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Regular walking improves cardiovascular fitness and strengthens portions of the body such as bones and muscles.

Incline walking requires participants to engage their core in order to stabilize their bodies at an angle. This can help alleviate any lower back pain and promote increased calorie burn. It is a simple way to get into a workout schedule and improve physical health.

Walking also has matchless mental benefits. One of the best ways to increase levels of serotonin is through fresh air, moving your body and of course, sunlight. Walking, fast walking, and even running, helps bring this naturally and can be considered one of the best natural antidepressants.

Is Hiking a Good Alternative?

Hiking is a great alternative to walking on a treadmill. It is the same concept as having an incline on a treadmill except it’s in the beauty of nature. This can give you a change of scenery and this way you will not need to purchase a treadmill or gym membership yourself.

Hiking, just like incline walking, builds bone density. Because hiking is an exercise where your bones and muscles are working against gravity, your bone density will be built. But hiking also has some special benefits that stand out, such as improved sleep quality. Being exposed to natural light and nature will help your internal clock reset.

Lifestyles are different for everyone and that is great! Young adults in college may better be able to incorporate daily walks from their route from class to their apartment, while someone working an office job may need to set aside extra time at their local gym. If you are in an area where hiking is available, this is a great way to incorporate incline walking. The terrain will give a natural change of incline percentage, creating more endurance and strength for your body. Plus, some sunshine is almost always good for mental health.

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