10,000 steps a day has been a magical number that has been easy to track (especially using smart watches/tracker such as FitBit and Apple watches) and the potential minimum to have some long term cardio-vascular benefit.
Unfortunately, most people do not reach this target and this number does not meet the American College of Sports Medicine’s ideal standard of 150 minutes or moderate intensity exercise (being somewhat puffed during exercise) per week.
A new study in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, suggests that there is a better target:
– 30 minutes of walking at 100 steps/min (approx. 4.6 km/h), 5 days a week
– You should feel somewhat puffed during your walk
This is a good alternative goal to the 10,000 steps because it produces a larger load on the heart and encourages improvement in heart fitness, which has a better protective effect in the long term.
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