Calling All Walkers: Use This Minute Rule
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Walking is an easy exercise, but use this minute rule to make sure you're hoofing it hard enough to get the minimum benefit.
Strap on a pedometer and make sure you're taking about 100 steps a minute. This will help ensure that you meet baseline exercise requirements for intensity level.
The Meaning of Moderate
For maximum health, you want to aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. But what does "moderate" mean? In a study, researchers found that men needed to take 92–102 steps a minute and women needed about 91–115 steps per minute to elevate their heart rate and oxygen intake high enough to qualify their activity as moderately intense. How fit is your heart? Take this heart-rate recovery quiz.
Watch Your Steps
If you are new to exercise or have a health condition, check with your doctor before trying to hit the benchmark of 100 steps per minute. If exercise is old hat to you, don't let yourself get too comfortable with the number. As the researchers pointed out, this is really the minimum walking pace that qualifies as moderate-intensity exercise. Here are a few other tips to help you get fit faster:
Never used a pedometer before? This video will tell you everything you need to know to pick one out.
Have a healthful snack before you walk. A handful of these might help you burn more fat.
Ready to move beyond 100? Use this fun interactive tool to set new walking goals and track your progress.
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