When you walk uphill or add slope to your treadmill workout, it seems like you’re burning more calories since you’re not only exercising different muscles but also battling harder against gravity, which increases the intensity.
But how many extra calories do you burn when you walk uphill? The solution comes from two sources: study measurements for metabolic equivalents and American College of Sports Medicine calculations (ACSM).
Walking Uphill Burns Calories
Metabolic equivalents research compares the calories burned by those hiking uphill at a brisk 3.5 miles per hour to those walking on level, firm terrain at the same speed.
A 150-pound guy burnt 80 calories per mile on level terrain, but walked uphill and burned an extra 48 calories per mile, a 60% increase. This metabolic equivalents (MET) study is utilised in hiking calorie charts and various calculators.
The second approach for determining uphill calorie burn use formulas from the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription,” which show:
- A 150-pound individual burns around 10 extra calories per mile for every 1% uphill slope (a 12% increase).
- That implies that a 150-pound individual walks at a 10% incline and burns more than twice as many calories per mile as they would on flat terrain.
Incline Is Important
The degree of inclination makes a significant influence. On a treadmill, you may precisely set your slope based on your goals. Some treadmills offer percentage grade settings, whereas others utilise numbers like 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0—these are equivalent to 1%, 1.5%, 2%, and so on.
However, in the vast outdoors, not all hills are alike—they have varying inclines (percentage grades). Because of the varied inclines seen in nature, hiking is sometimes indicated in calorie calculators as burning significantly more calories per mile than hiking.
When walking outside, you may use a service such as Map My Walk to map out your treks and determine your route’s inclines. A 5% slope can quickly raise your heart rate and cause you to breathe heavily.
Calorie Burn Calculator
Calorie burn is impacted by the length of your walk as well as your weight. Enter your weight, hike time, and “hiking” in the calculator below to receive an estimate of your calorie burn when hiking uphill.
Walking Downhill Burns Calories
What goes up must come down, unless you’re on a treadmill. Hiking downhill burns somewhat fewer calories than hiking uphill or on level ground.
MET study suggests that you only burn 6.6% fewer calories per mile while moving downhill compared to walking on flat terrain. A 150-pound individual will burn five fewer calories each mile as a result. Overall, by adding a 1-mile uphill hike followed by a 1-mile downhill walk, a 150-pound individual would burn 43 more calories than they would have hiking those 2 miles on flat ground.
Uphill Calorie Counting Tech Tools
The calories burnt statistics displayed on your treadmill and those tallied on your fitness tracker or heart rate monitor are unlikely to coincide, especially while walking on an incline. It can be difficult to determine which, if either, is more correct. Setting an exact weight in whichever tool you choose will help it compute more properly in every scenario.
Some fitness trackers and smartwatches utilise your heart rate and an altimeter to determine whether you are ascending. These devices may utilise this information to improve calorie estimation. Others may not be able to tell if you are travelling uphill or downhill since they lack these functions.
Add Uphill Walking to Workouts
Take stock of your surroundings if you want to add hills to your regular strolling path. Look for nearby paths with varying degrees of elevation, or look for safe hilly areas to stroll through. You may even stroll up and down your driveway’s incline.
You may even utilise an inclination in your treadmill jogging routines if you choose. Treadmills often allow you to change the elevation for your workouts, and you can generally choose from pre-programmed incline interval programmes.
You may now focus on appropriate form, posture, and technique to get the most out of your uphill and downhill walks now that you know how to establish inclination and include hills into your outdoor strolls.
Uphill Walking Techniques
For those ascents, use this uphill hiking technique:
- Don’t elevate your knees too high.
- Maintain a neutral posture with your torso over your hips and no undue forward or backward tilting.
- Shorten your steps while maintaining the same speed.
Downhill Walking Techniques
Walking downhill may be taxing on your knees, as people with knee issues are well aware. You should master the following skills to protect your knees on downhills:
- Do not recline. Maintain an upright stance with your hips over your knees, or lean slightly forward for further support.
- On steeper slopes, keep your knees slightly bent at all times.
- Going downhill, your stride will automatically lengthen, allowing you to brake while still travelling quicker than normal. If you notice yourself moving too quickly, decrease your stride or take slower strides.
A Word From Fitness India Show
Hills add a new dimension to both treadmill and outdoor workouts. Use them to increase the intensity of your walk, allowing you to burn more calories in the same amount of time and distance.