Healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 80 minutes of intense activity per week. Walking can help you reach these goals – specifically if you include walking up a hill or two.
It is convenient to walk up a hill
The downside of exercise is often a deal-breaker with people who want to do something about their fitness level. Driving to a gym on the other side of town is daunting. It also requires entry fees and monthly fees to use the facilities.
Not only is walking convenient, but it’s also free. All you need is access to the hills in your neighborhood. If you only have one hill nearby, you can walk up and down for an extended period. You do not even need roads—walkthrough paths, fields, stairs, or even on your lawn can do.
Increase muscle recruitment
Even walking on flat ground requires some effort. It burns calories, and it also improves aerobic capacity. What it lacks is intensity. You can indeed make an easy walk in the park a powerwalk by accelerating your arms and walking with more power, but the point is that you are still on flat ground.
Walking up hills, you move vertically against gravity and force yourself to work with more effort. Not only can you lose weight by walking uphill, but you can also tone lower body muscles.
According to an article from January 2012 published by Gait & Posture, additional muscles are recruited when walking uphill. The gluteal muscles and hamstrings, for example, are involved in knee flexion and hip extension. When walking on flat ground, there are fewer demands on these muscles. You need to actively contract these muscles to get to the top as you walk up the hill.
The same goes for the calves. These muscles are on the lower back of the legs, and they are labored when the toes point downwards, which is called planting flexion, and when you walk up hills, you have to pull your legs together with force.
Running can have a lot of strain on your knees, hips, and ankle joints. You will feel a similar intensity when walking up hills, but not with the same impact as running.
Exercise consciously and effectively
One way to prevent osteoporosis is through weight-bearing activities such as running, skipping rope, playing tennis, and dancing. Suppose you have weak legs or cannot do these powerful exercises. Exercises with low impacts, such as walking, are just as practical. Also, remember that walking strengthens the leg muscles. Every time you improve your muscles, you also strengthen your bones.
Among the benefits of walking uphill is efficiency. Since it is more challenging to walk up hills than flat ground, you will get a training session with higher intensity, which means you can have more time-efficient workouts.