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What Are The Calories Burned On A Treadmill At An Incline?

Treadmill Running
Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock.com

By Simon Gould

Treadmills are great for losing weight because you burn so many calories when exercising on them. It's that your moving your body weight against gravity and no other cardio machine can do it like a treadmill. This is probably why they're so popular. The incline is good because you can burn even more calories in the same amount of time. Here we look at how inclines affect calorie burn.

Calculating the amount of calories burned

For this I'll be using my favorite treadmill calorie burn calculator. As you can see it's got all the necessary information you need to put in to help it determine how many calories you're using. Most importantly for this case we have the gradient input. This is where we input the incline percentage and we're told the calories burned based on it.

What I'll do is show the calories burned from exercising on the flat and then at an incline. To make a treadmill like exercising outside you should put the incline at 1% so the science says. For jogging and running you shouldn't exercise on an incline for too long a period because it's bad for your joints.

Treadmill Running
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Walking

We'll take the average speed for walking on this one which is 3.1 mph. We'll also take the weight for the subjects when they're walking flat and at an incline. We'll take the incline at flat, 2% and 6%. The higher 6% is something we can do when we're walking. Here are the calculations:

  • Speed: 3.1 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 0%
  • Calories: 250
  • Speed: 3.1 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 2%
  • Calories: 268
  • Speed: 3.1 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 6%
  • Calories: 305

As you can see the only thing that changed was the incline in 2 of the 30 minute workouts. Otherwise the calories burned went from 250 on the flat to 305 when the incline was 6%.The incline makes a big difference when you're walking. This is something to remember if you're stuck with time and need a tough workout to make use of the incline button.

Treadmill Running
YanLev/Shutterstock.com

Jogging

As we get faster the difference between the calories burned will be greater for each incline. This is because it takes more energy to move something uphill at speed and that's what we'll be doing. Jogging we'll take at 5 mph, this may seem a bit slow but you're still having to lift each foot of the ground on each stride so it counts.

  • Speed: 5.0 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 0%
  • Calories: 376
  • Speed: 5.0 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 2%
  • Calories: 406
  • Speed: 5.0 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 6%
  • Calories: 466

30 minutes of jogging is something you may not be able to do straight away and may need working up to. You burn a good amount of calories even when the treadmill is flat: 376. Jogging at 2% is not that much more but it might feel a lot harder. 6% is when we start to see a significant calorie difference. This level is probably not advisable to jog 30 minutes for because of the stress on the joints.

Treadmill Running
SG SHOT/Shutterstock.com

Running

I'm taking running as going at 6.5 mph. This is quite quick for doing 30 minutes on. You'll have to be used to running and be built for running as well to continue at this level. You will certainly have to be quite slim to last this long at this speed because your weight has a big influence in your speed and time of running. Here are the stats:

  • Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 0%
  • Calories: 476
  • Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 2%
  • Calories: 515
  • Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Weight: 182 lbs
  • Incline: 6%
  • Calories: 593

Running at 6% is definitely not advisable but I put it up here for comparison. This is where some serious calorie burn goes on when you're running at 6.5 mph. Again the difference between 0% and 2% is not that great. If you're running at 6.5 mph then I would guess you are an experienced runner who probably knows this information:).

Treadmill Running
Jasminko Ibrakovic/Shutterstock.com

Summary

Walking on an incline is something I see people do in the gym on the treadmills all the time. It gives a good workout and you get more calorie burn because of it. You maybe see one of those walkers who stride purposefully with their arms too. This gives those arms some activity too. The incline does make a difference and is perfect if time is limited.

We have some routines for people who like to use the incline. For walkers we have 3 treadmill hill walking workouts for weight loss. For runners we have one too: 3 treadmill hill running workouts for weight loss. As you can see the hill mention is because it's an incline workout that should give everyone a challenge and a bit of variety in their workouts.

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Meet The Author

Simon Gould

I'm Simon Gould. I've been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept's of national stores. I've run outside and I've run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.



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