Running hills provides an opportunity to increase the rate at which you burn calories and improve your level of fitness. The calories you burn running hills depends on several factors including your weight, running speed and the size of the hills.
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For each 5 percent of hill grade, if you weigh 150 lbs. you can burn an additional three to five calories per minute running, according to ThatsFit.com. If you weigh 150 lbs. -- and run at 6 miles per hour on a 5 percent incline -- you will burn between 448 and 508 calories in 30 minutes. And if you run on flat terrain you will burn about 358 calories in 30 minutes.
Running on hills strengthens muscles and builds endurance. By running uphill you increase the intensity of your workout, making it a more efficient way to burn calories than running on a flat surface.
Beginning runners may want to stick to flat surfaces at first. Once your fitness level has increased, you can add some mild rolling hills and then move up to steeper hills. Try to vary long and short hills in a workout.