Cardio exercise is by far one of the most important forms of exercise that you can participate in. If there were any single discipline of working out that you could choose to focus on, cardio would likely be the best choice for a variety of reasons. Foremost amongst these reasons, you have the maintenance of your health.
Today, we are going to be discussing a topic that is closely related to cardio exercise. We will be taking a look at the incline feature that you can find on your treadmill and why it is there. Incline walking and incline running has a few advantages for your body, and we will also go over them.
Since cardio is necessary to ensure that you maintain the good health of your heart, an active cardio regime is critical in the long run. Cardio exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are two significant causes of death and disability in the United States and the developed world.
Proper use of incline treadmill walking can significantly improve the efficiency with which you work out, so it can help to know a bit about the subject if you care about cardio exercise. Regardless of whether you work out at home or the gym, you should know what incline does.
First, we want to make sure that everyone is on the same page. It wouldn’t do to start talking about incline and its benefits if all of our readers didn’t understand what we were discussing.
There are several systems used to incline treadmills, but the basic idea of an incline system is the put the running surface at a more difficult grade for the runner. Looking at a treadmill from the side, a steeper incline would raise the front half of the treadmill, and a flatter one would lower it.
Some treadmills can be manually inclined by placing the running surface on a pin or a rack to support it at your chosen angle, while others have automatic electric inclination systems. Of course, the electronic option is more convenient as you can adjust the incline while you are running.
So why do treadmills feature incline settings? Most models have implemented an incline feature to help improve the versatility of their products. A treadmill with incline will allow you to work out various muscle groups that would be impossible to exercise using a basic treadmill.
There is also the aspect of competition, of course. When a competitor implements incline running on their treadmills, all of the other manufacturers will have to follow suit or their product will look obsolete. If you are looking to improve the versatility of your treadmill, an incline feature is a must.
Here are some of the benefits:
When you use your treadmill at an incline, you are getting more of a workout for each step. Since you will still be taking the same number of steps at an incline as you would without one, you can get more of a workout done in the same span of time. Of course, this also means that you will get tired faster.
However, if you are trying to lose weight, few options can beat using the treadmill at an incline. If you are used to running on a flat surface, you may find it difficult to get accustomed to an incline at first. Once you get accustomed to exercising while using the incline feature, it becomes far easier.
Since you will be working your muscles harder, you will be able to burn more fat when you work out at an incline. The benefit of an incline is that you can also set a slower pace and get the same workout as if you were moving faster on a flat treadmill.
Another reason that you should choose to run at an incline on your treadmill is that it exercises more muscle groups, as we briefly touched on earlier in the article. A treadmill that is inclined will give you a workout that gets a little bit closer to the type of exercise you would get on an elliptical.
If you are trying to exercise the broadest range of muscles possible, an inclined treadmill will be necessary, but you can't just stick to the treadmill, regardless. If you are looking to get a varied and comprehensive workout, you will have to use various workout machines.
When working out on an inclined treadmill, you will find that you do not have to run. While walking on a flat treadmill will do little to burn fat and build muscle, when you do so at an incline, you will get a better workout. This is especially helpful for users who can’t run, for any reason.
For example, if you have sensitive feet that can’t take the constant pounding of running on a treadmill, walking may be an acceptable alternative. At higher inclines, simple walking can get downright exhausting.
You may be wondering why exactly incline walking does so much more for you than walking on a treadmill. It helps to think about exercising on an incline machine in terms of the direction that you are moving in. When running on a flat treadmill, the only direction you are moving is forward.
However, as soon as you crank up the incline of your treadmill, you start moving upward as well as forward. Running uphill is more difficult than running forward thanks to gravity, however. Instead of only dealing with the resistance of the treadmill surface, you also have to run against gravity when you are inclined.
Whether you choose to walk or run, you will find that an incline treadmill can help you get a much more efficient workout done. Feel free to leave your thoughts down in the comments below.