Tracking your workouts to see if you do enough exercise is key to insuring that you are getting the right amount of physical activity. Currently, adult health guidelines promote about 30 minutes (about 3,000-4,000 steps at 100 steps per minute) of moderate-intensity daily aerobic activity such as brisk walking. And, walking is one of the best activities for you because of the ease, low cost, and accessibility. How much exercise is enough? How many steps a day should you walk and what is your effort-level, your intensity for a brisk walk?
How Many Steps? In the July 2008 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal*, researchers concluded that the slogan of 10,000 steps a day adopted from a popular walking program in Japan in the 1960 is about right depending on your fitness goals. Choose your adult fitness level and then match it with the number of steps as follows:
- Highly active: more than 12,500 steps a day
- Active: 10,000-12,500 steps a day
- Somewhat Active: 7,500-9999 steps a day
- Low Active: 5,000-7,499 steps a day
- Sedentary: more than 5,000 steps a day
What is Moderate? Slow or easy walking, also called low zone walking, doesn’t provide the same cardiovascular or heart-healthy benefits as moderate walking. Moderate walking is at or more than 100 steps per minute or a heart rate zone that is 70%-80% of your maximum heart rate or Zone 3 or 4 of your high, T2 threshold heart rate. Use your heart rate monitor, and we love the ZONING Blink heart rate monitory, to stay in the moderate or brisk walking zones.
If you want to get healthy, start doing a brisk walk — that means Zone 3 or for ZONING the “moderate Yellow zone” at 100 steps or greater a minute for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Tudor-Locke, C.Y. Hatano, R.P. Pangrazi, and M. Kane. Revisiting “How Many Steps are Enough Med.Sci.Sports Exerc., vol. 40, No 7S, ppS537-S543, 2008