It’s impossible to overlook the benefits of exercise but many people who do exercise don’t know if they’re doing enough. Walking is an excellent form of exercise suitable for most people and pedometers are great for tracking the number of steps taken but they don’t gauge intensity. For maximum cardiovascular health, adults need about 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five times a week.
San Diego State University’s Dr. Simon J. Marshall suggests taking a wristwatch along for the walk and striving for a pace of 100 steps per minute as a measure of moderate intensity. In a study of 97 healthy adults whose average age was 32, an average of 100 steps a minute achieved optimum heart rates for men and women alike. Marshall published his findings in the May 2009 issue of the ‘American Journal of Preventive Medicine.’
To gain maximum benefits from a daily walk, 30 minutes per day five days a week is recommended. Marshall suggests aiming for 1,000 steps in 10-minute intervals over the course of a day until a walker can accomplish 3,000 steps in one 30-minute segment.