Do you want to burn more calories?
Then try walking up and down inclines or hills. According to Liz Neporent, MA and author of Fitness Walking for Dummies, “Even a modest 3 to 8% incline can increase calorie burn by 20%”
Walking up a 15% slope uses about a third more energy than walking on a flat surface.
To increase your efficiency in walking up an incline take shorter steps than you normally would. Walking downhill works your leg muscles as they work to keep your balance.
Walking up and down hills doesn’t just give your legs a better workout you will also work your heart and lungs harder. Varrying the terrain you walk on is a form if interval training.
A good way to get started is to walk uphill for 2 minutes as fast as your fitness level will allow. Don’t overdo it your first time out. Once you reach the top of the hill walk back down in a zigzag pattern at a slower rate. By walking back and forth across a hill you will ease the strain on your knees. If you are walking on a street be careful of traffic. You do not have to walk the whole width of the street; walking in short ziga zag patterns will also take the pressure off of your knees.
If you do this exercise 8 to 10 times, twice a week you will increase your fitness level and burn more calories walking.
If you lean forward slightly when you walk uphill you will work your glute muscles harder. In addition to burning more calories by walking on an incline, Medical News Today reports that walking downhill helps lower blood sugar levels while walking uphill helps cholesterol levels.
Dr. Heinz Drexel, Voralberg Institute, Feldirch, Austria, says that walking downhill may be a good starting point for sedentary people to start exercising. Dr. Drexel conducted research that shows that walking downhill may reduce the risks (effects) of diabetes. Dr. Drexel carried out his research in the Austrian Alps.
You can workout on hills even though you don’t live in the Austrian Alps. Try walking up and down stairs if you live in a flat area. And of course, if you use a treadmill you can increase and decrease the incline.