Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Exercise of the Week: Walking with Incline

Over the years, I've noticed that a lot of people claim to hate running simply for the fact that it's hard. They prefer to walk. However, after I have a lot of my clients do this next exercise, they see that walking can be just as tough...

An incline offers a poorly conditioned person a safe way to challenge the cardiovascular system. You can get your heart pumping without requiring speed. Incline walking is also good for people who can't move fast for other reasons, such as injury or rehabbing some kind of problem. So if you prefer to walk, the incline will still allow you to be really challenged without having high impact pressure on your knees and hips.

Incline walking is far superior to the elliptical trainer, because incline walking is actual walking, something that you do in real life. Whereas, the elliptical trainer provides a motion that does not relate to real-life movements of the human body.

Other benefits include:

- It recruits lower back muscles to keep your body erect

- It provides a stretch to the calves and Achilles tendons

A very important note: You will not reap benefits of incline walking if you hold onto the treadmill. I can't say this enough. Do not place your hands on any part of the treadmill. To do so will cancel out the effect of the slope, even at faster speeds. Be sure to swing your arms naturally at your sides as you would if you were walking up a hill outside. If you cannot keep up with the tread without holding on, lower the incline or slow the speed.