Walking on an inclined treadmill may offer benefits comparable to jogging on a flat surface.
Walking and jogging are two forms of exercise that can help maintain healthy activity levels. For people who live in areas where there are few good walking/running trails, or where the weather is poor, a treadmill can be the best option for this endeavor. Depending on how quickly you go, walking uphill on a treadmill can be as effective as jogging on a flat surface and may also reduce your risk of injury.
A 150-pound person running 1 mile in 10 minutes on a flat surface will burn approximately 111 calories. By comparison, the same person walking 1 mile in 15 minutes on a flat surface will burn 93 calories. However, adding a 5 percent incline to this walking exercise bumps the calories burned to 128. The same walk performed at a 15 percent incline will burn 219 calories. Interestingly, running speed only slightly affects calories burned, so if you are running and trying to burn more calories, running a longer distance is more important than running faster.
Walking on an incline versus running may also have benefits aside from burning more calories. Exercising on an incline can put more stress on the muscles in the lower body, helping to improve their strength and tone. In addition, it will take longer to walk than to jog. When the body exercises for longer periods of time, it is more likely to burn fat for energy than carbohydrates. As a result, walking may provide a higher percentage of fat burned than jogging, although the latter will still burn more calories and more fat overall.
One of the main differences between walking and jogging is that the calories burned while walking depend upon speed as well as distance. By comparison, the calories burned while running aren't as affected by speed. Although it may seem contradictory, the slower you walk, the more calories you'll burn. A 150-pound person walking 1 mile on a 15-percent grade over the course of 25 minutes will burn 231 calories. The same person making the same walk at no incline will burn 219 calories. However, it's important to note that while walking slower provides a slight increase in calories burned, it also increases the amount of time you need to exercise.
Another of the advantages of walking on an incline versus jogging is that, in general, walking has less of an energy risk. When you run, there are periods of time when both feet are off the ground, which means that one leg has to support your entire body weight during the impact of landing. Because at least one foot is always on the ground while walking, there is less stress on the knees and other joints and a reduced risk of injury.