Uphill vs. Downhill Walking Routine
There has always been this debate on which one is better between the uphill and downhill walks. For some people, they are all the same. However, the best to determine which one is king, then it is best we comprehensively tackle each.
Walking offers a lot of excellent health and fitness benefits. Both uphill and downhill walking have their pons and cons, and each targets a different set of muscles.
Recent studies show that when walking uphill, your body does burn more calories than when walking on a flat surface. The reason for this is because many muscles are put to task when walking uphill which requires extra amounts of energy.
An uphill walk works your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Besides, some muscles from your upper body are also exercised. Such muscles include your arms, chest, and shoulders.
During a downhill walk, your body is struggling with gravity. This, in turn, works your hip stabilizers and quads in order to control your speed and maintain your form.
Research has shown that downhill-walking several advantages most notably, helping keep your blood sugar levels in check.
From the above discussion, we can see that both types of walking have numerous advantages. To gain the full benefits of walking, it is essential that you incorporate both modes of walking into your daily walking routine.
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Incorporating Hill Walks into Your Walking Routine
Hill walk training can be challenging especially for beginners. However, if you master the proper posture, you’ll find yourself acing your hill climb sessions sooner rather than later.
Here are some pointers to guide you through.
Avoid Slouching or Leaning Forward too Much
Most people make the mistake of leaning forward too much when doing their uphill walk in order to generate more power form their upper body. However, this is a mistake, and it will end up putting excess pressure on your back and neck muscles.
Avoid Raising Your Knees Too High
Raising your knees too high will force you also use too much energy during the early stages of the hill climb.
Maintain Shorter Steps
When doing you hill climb, try and keep your strides shorter. Additionally, try maintaining the same speed from start to finish. This will help you improve your endurance levels. Besides, it will prevent you from injuring your leg muscles due to over-striding.
How to Get Through Your Downhill Walk
During the downhill stretch, you will find yourself moving a faster pace thanks to gravity. Nonetheless, you can still keep your speed in check and maintain a proper posture through the following ways.
Avoid leaning back too much as it will hurt your spine, back, and neck muscles. So, try keeping an upright posture. Similar to uphill walking, make your steps shorter to control your pace. Lastly, bend your knees slightly if the incline is steeper.