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Uphill Walking Versus Running – The Pros And Cons

As you get going with your cardio training program, if you’ve decided that you’re going to utilize the treadmill machine to get these in, the next question comes as to what form of treadmill workout you should be doing.

The great thing about the treadmill is that it offers you a number of varieties, so you can easily scale your workout to your own individual preferences as well as fitness level.

Two of the main options that you can choose between are uphill walking or running.  Both have their pros and cons so by understanding what each are, you can get a clearer picture of which variation is best for you.

Let’s go over what you should note.

Uphill Walking

First let’s look at uphill walking.  The first big benefit that uphill walking has over running is the fact that you won’t be getting nearly the same degree of impact from uphill walking that you would from running.

Running can be quite taxing on the body, especially if you are someone who is carrying a bit of excess weight.  All that extra weight coming down on the joints over time can cause you to develop chronic knee or lower back pain, taking you right out of your workout sessions.

The second benefit to uphill walking is the fact that it’s a great leg strengthening form of cardio training.  Uphill walking is going to help to work the quads, glutes, as well as the hamstrings, so will build a curvier, more defined lower body.

You can get your heart rate up just as high with uphill walking as you would with running provided you use a steep enough incline and walk at a brisk pace.  So from a cardiovascular benefit point of view, both are quite similar exercises.

The drawback to uphill walking is that being that it does have you moving against a resistance (the incline), this can increase the chances that you do start to overtrain slightly more.

Running doesn’t provide any resistance at all, so muscular overtraining is quite rare. You still can overtrain by doing far too much running, but your chances are simply not quite as high.


Moving on to running, what benefits does this exercise have?  First, it’s ideal for doing interval training.  You can speed up and slow down very quickly, allowing you to get in those short bursts that are required for interval sessions.

In addition to this, running does tend to earn top marks for endurance training. Going for a 45-60 minute run will rapidly help to increase your muscles ability to tolerate fatigue and how long your heart can stay elevated for a period of time.

Running is also great for stress relieving purposes, as most people find that nothing clears their mind like a long run.

The downsides to running are the high-impact nature it creates as well as the fact that most beginners can’t just dive right in and do a session.  Running does take some skill and time to build up to, so you’ll have to start slow and work at it over time.

So there you have the main things to consider between uphill walking and running.  Making sure that you choose wisely when adding this to your workout program will help ensure that you enjoy each and every workout you do and see the results that you’re looking for.

For more information on choosing a proper home treadmill, check out this guide.


  • Charlie October 21, 2020 at 9:07 pm from Dumfries
    Totally good way to clear the head, nothing better than a hard walk to push yourself and the good feeling when u get there after knowing you pushed yourself harder than the last time, good feeling when u see results
  • Dan Dawson October 2, 2019 at 1:40 pm from hunger
    I aim to walk uphill twice a day when it is not raining. I feel a lot better. All the bullshit in the world bothers me less.

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