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Negative Effects of Walking on an Incline

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Negative Effects of Walking on an Incline
Walking uphill can have drawbacks.

Walking allows you to burn fat and calories at your own fitness level. If you really want to step up your walking game, walk on an incline. An incline might include raising the base up several inches of the floor or taking a jab at your favorite hill. While walking on an incline consistently will help you get in shape, it does have some negative effects.

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Slower Pace

One possible negative effect of walking on an incline is that you can walk at a slower pace than walking on even terrain or downhill. While the slower pace might help you build muscle in your legs, the focus is more on strength-training as opposed to burning calories with low-impact exercise. If you are looking to lose fat and burn calories overall as opposed to strengthening leg muscles, walking on an incline might not give you the results you want. The slower pace of climbing an incline can also wear you out faster physically, making it harder to walk longer distances and complete your fitness goals for the day.

Foot Discomfort

Walking on an incline can cause discomfort in your feet because your feet have to bend to accommodate stance and position. This can cause the foot to rub on your shoe leaving behind blisters and wear and tear on your heel and toenails. According to, it can also lead to black toe, in which friction causes injury to the tissue under your toenails.

Muscle Strain

Muscle strain is another common negative effect of walking on an incline. Muscles that feel the most strain are the knees and the front of the calves. Walking with pressure on these muscle groups could cause the muscles to become inflamed and painful. Stretching prior to a generous incline walk can help the muscles warm up properly. Stopping if pain occurs is also important because that can prevent injury to the legs and feet. Cooling down with a long stretch afterward is essential to reduce muscle strain.

Loss of Balance

Walking on an incline can be challenging if the terrain is uncertain. You might encounter dips in the terrain or the surface might be so steep that you experience a loss of balance. Try to walk in areas that are designated for walking and hiking. Wandering off the beaten path can increase your risk of losing your balance and falling.

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