Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Walkin' on an Incline...

*to the song of "Workin' on a Gold Mine*

I've been racking my brain trying to think of exercises I can do that won't make my knee worse, but will also work up a sweat. I've been swimming, doing the rowing machine, walking, and using the elliptical, then the other day it hit me: why not try walking on the dreadmill on an INCLINE?

I remember reading about how Angela from Oh She Glows was coming back from her injury, and she really focused on treadmill walking on an incline. Let me just tell is INTENSE!

I walked last night for 1.5 miles at a 4.0 mph pace, switching between 8% and 10% incline. YOWSA! I was SOAKED when I was finished...and my knee didn't hurt one bit!

I also found this article that describes the benefits of walking on an incline, some of which are:

- It challenges the cardiovascular system without requiring speed; ideal for people either not in the mood for speed workouts, or people who cannot ambulate swiftly due to orthopedic conditions.

- Because an incline challenges the heart at a slower walking pace, this means less impact on knees and hips.

- The slow nature is good for people either just getting back into exercise after injury, or for people new to exercise who don’t want to pull a muscle at faster speeds.

- Provides a stretch to the calves and Achilles tendons

- A great alternative for people suffering from heel pain (plantar fasciitis) because of the minimized heel-strike impact, and the stretching of the foot with each step

According to Spark People, I also burn 274 calories if walking at a 4.0 mph pace on a 10% incline for 30 minutes. This seems high to me, but I know after my heart was pumpin' last night that it "ain't no joke!" (as dear Jillian would say).

Have you ever walked on the dreadmill on an incline? Or tried an exercise/workout that was VERY intense...when you thought it wasn't?


Anonymous said...

I HATE the dreadmill and I used to walk on an incline all the time to avoid it in high school and college (when I couldn't run outside). I'd get up to levels 12-15% incline, but have to hold the rails. Still, I was sweating buckets every time. Just as good as running, IMO--different muscles worked and toned!! And for recovering from an injury, a great workout! Glad you enjoyed it!

Missy said...

I walk on an incline when I have a while on the treadmill. I usually keep switching it up to keep things interesting. You are right, it is intense! I wear my hrm and it burns as many calories as jogging! I am happy to hear iy is good for your knee too!

Fitzalan said...

That is how I feel about swimming. It is a great cardiovascular workout but I really don't feel like it is as hard as running. I was trained as a swimmer and swam competitively for 18 years. Maybe it is because I am most at ease in the water. I love listening to my breath and feeling my body.

I have started doing the treadmill with the incline because my knee is so sore right now. I can't go that fast though. I know I don't want to hold onto the rails but I can't seem to get above the upper 3's/low 4s. And my incline is only around 7%. Otherwise my knee starts hurting.

Happiness Awaits

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I found you through Meghann and Caitlin's journals and see that we share a name, knee issues, and a knack for naming our bikes by color (I just gave Big Blue to my husband to make room for Little Gray, hahaha).

Anonymous said...

Every time I use the treadmill I crank up the incline! It's my favorite gym workout, to just walk on an incline of 10-15%. Especially if I'm not in a running mood :)

- Sagan

Nicole said...

Woot woot dreadmill! What a brilliant idea! Glad you found something that is helpful! :) :) Maybe i'll try it on a cross training day! Thanks for sharing!

HangryPants said...

I don't usually do that, but I see people doing it and they are sweaty! Have you tried the bike? It's not bad if you have a book!