Most people training on a treadmill don’t make full use of all the features. How many times have you stepped onto your treadmill and set the pace but totally ignored the incline settings? Probably too many to count.

Training using the incline function can give a much more effective workout and can mimic the difficulty level of running or walking uphill outdoors on naturally varied terrains. We all feel the increased strain on our hearts from just walking up a hill, so once you start training with this in mind, your fitness will start to increase enormously.

You’ll find these 5 benefits when you start to incorporate incline into your treadmill workout:

1. You can get your heart rate up to higher level whilst running or walking at a lower speed. This means you have greater control over your workout intensity zone and can be much more precise with your workout goals.

2. Going slower but increasing the intensity of the workout using the treadmill’s incline is great for those who need to take it easy on their joints. This could be due to age or injury, a treadmill incline workout is a great way to ease yourself back into exercise with low impact.

3. Incline engages different muscle groups at the same time as being a great cardio workout. If you’re new to uphill training you’ll feel it in your calves and achilles, as well as the quads and glutes! Including muscle training into your cardio workout will also make you burn calories during the workout as well as after, this is called the afterburn effect. In turn this will improve muscle definition giving your body a nice shape.

4. Using incline to increase and decrease intensity during a workout can help beat treadmill boredom. Set yourself intervals where you push hard followed by periods of jogging or walking to rest to keep it exciting and aim to rest less as you get used to training with incline. This style of training is known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Typically, a HIIT session can last anywhere from 15 – 45 minutes, making it easy to squeeze into almost any day!

5. Training on a treadmill using the incline function will help you to burn more calories per mile than running or walking on a flat surface. This is particularly great for those with weight loss as their main goal. So ramp up the incline and feel the burn!

So next time you jump on the treadmill, be sure to use the incline settings! Whether it’s at the gym, or you’re planning to invest in your very own treadmill at home, it’s important to use all the settings available to make the most of your workout.