Walking on Treadmill Incline vs. Running: What should You Do?

Before following a workout technique it is better to check out the potential circumstances. You can achieve one target in different ways. Just like incline walking and running are two different elements that can be worked out on a treadmill. But which one should you choose? In this article, I will take you through the pros and cons of both the options to help you decide the right one for you based on your requirements and ease.

Incline Walking On Treadmills

It is easier to walk, run, or jog on a flat surface than an inclined track. Incline walking is super challenging but extremely gainful. Fitness experts usually look for such challenging trails outdoors. But how do they do it indoor, let’s say in extreme winters? In such circumstances, they turn to a treadmill with incline options.

The incline on treadmills offers the perfect simulation of an uphill trail. Treadmills offer various incline levels, exceeding a maximum of 15%. Each level engages a different muscle in the body. Thus, experiencing every level until the maximum leads to a total body workout, engaging different muscles at each stage. That enables you to strengthen particular muscles as needed instead of jumping into the mega-full-body session right away.


  • The more incline your trail is the more it will burn your calories. For instance, a person weighing about 130 lbs. might lose up to 224 calories by briskly walking on flat ground for an hour with a speed of about 3.5 mph. The same person can lose up to 354 calories at the same time with the same speed on a 15⁰ inclined surface.
  • Incline walking benefits people who do not prefer running. It allows them to have a more intense workout of their own liking.
  • Walking unlike other high-impact activities does not risk your lower body joints, which reduces the chances of weakening or injuries during the workouts. However, it works perfectly in cutting the fat from your shin and strengthening your tendons.
  • Incline treadmills are a versatile option, enabling you to run, walk or jog on them too.
  • Since incline walking is quite intense, it improves the performance of your lungs and heart, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


  • It is difficult to get incline options in cheap treadmills. So if you have a limited budget you might have a little trouble having it.
  • Often people use the side rail for support during incline walking, which reduces the effectiveness of the session. Therefore, if you don’t know the appropriate way to use it, there is no use of it.

Running on Treadmills

Running on a flat surface burns a similar number of calories as walking uphill. However, running has a high impact on your lower body. It cannot be practiced by beginners and has age barriers. For running you have to be in a certain shape so that you do not hurt your injure your joints or muscles. Overall, it is great with some amazing benefits. I have mentioned some of the most common and proven ones below.


  • For a lot of people, the long run is mind-clearing. They find stress relieving and a way to better cognitive ability. Also, it gives them more confidence and a better perspective.
  • Running builds endurance towards muscle fatigue and improves the functioning of your heart.
  • It is super effective for weight management.
  • Running increases the density of your bones, strengthening them so they offer better stability and balance. Thus, it enables your body to adapt to other workouts easily.
  • Most treadmills offer enough speed and motor to accumulate running despite the price range. Unlike the incline option, it is not as unique and can be availed even at a cheap cost. However, a slight problem with budget treadmills is the size of the deck. Not all manufacturers offer a generous deck for you to run. Also, some space-saving designs are not suitable for the purpose.


  • It cannot be attempted by everybody. You need some prior practice and workouts to reach to make your body suitable for running.
  • Running can be quite stressful for your lower body joints and expose them to health issues. Thereby, you cannot directly jump to a full-fledged running session. Instead, you need to start slow and give your body the required structure and build.  

Comparison: Walking on Treadmill Incline vs. Running 

If you compare the two types of workout, you’ll get almost similar results but the lines marking the difference between the two are of preferences, age restrictions, and impact on joints. Considering treadmill incline benefits some people prefer walking on an incline to lose weight rather than running. Incline running can be practiced by beginners regarding their ages. It’s a low-impact practice that strengthens the muscles and bones without exposing them to potential injuries.

Running, however, is a more intense workout that requires greater stamina and a physically enabled body that can endure the stress and provide healthy results instead of weakening. Also, it takes time to make your body adaptable to running and be able to gain the most out of it. Therefore, be careful with what you choose based on the condition of your body.

Moreover, the incline level is a unique feature that is not available in all treadmills, especially budget treadmills. However, running seems to be a common feature that is mostly available on every treadmill but you can also get a treadmill for runners separately. Though, one thing to be careful about is the deck size here. 


Incline walking is the best way to strengthen your body without putting excessive stress on your joints. You can start with lower incline levels and increase gradually based on your progress. It burns a similar amount of calories as running and is way more effective than simple walking. Running requires you to be fit enough to bear the impact, thereby; it requires prior skills, practice, and strengthening.  

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