While it is true that using the incline feature of the treadmill can be a great way to enhance your treadmill workouts; It can also be a dangerous tool, especially when not used correctly. If used too often or incorrectly, it can hamper your training and fitness goals.
The average treadmill will range in incline level from 0 to 15 percent. In general, most beginners should start at level 0-1 * Zero is flat and 1% is the next level, as a beginner there is no need to go above a 5% incline level. A beginner will get a better workout running at a faster pace with a lower incline level than at a slower pace with a higher incline level.
Running uphill is the theoretical equivalent of running uphill but it is not the same, the outdoors offers the elements and uneven terrain that makes for a much tougher exercise routine. One should not equate running on the treadmill with an incline as equivalent to running outdoors up and down hills. The incline of the treadmill also has a kickback and that is, it cannot give you the experience of running downhill, which in itself is a very difficult weight loss exercise.
Always be careful when running on the incline of the treadmill, be sure to maintain your correct form, and never overdo it. The best way to ensure safety is to run at a 0% incline for 2 minutes followed by a 3 minute run at a 5% incline, keep alternating between the two and you’ll be super seated and injury free in no time. If you intend to use the treadmill for weight loss, be sure to run outside when you can. For days when you can’t run outside, you can use the treadmill to complete your fitness program.
In short, it’s always best to run outside in a mountainous area and if you can’t run outside, you can use the incline of the treadmill to mimic running uphill.