How many steps have you done today? If that’s a question that you regularly ask yourself, you may be interested to find that it’s not the amount that you do that counts, as much as how you do them.
The benefits of walking are well-documented, from increasing weight loss to improving muscle strength and overall fitness. Walking for a minimum of 30 minutes a day is a good place to start, with many of us wearing tracking devices to calculate just how many steps we manage in a day.
While the recommended number of steps per day is around 10,000, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that the manner in which you walk, as opposed to the number of steps, can yield more benefits. Participants who tend to walk at a brisk pace (between 80 and 100 steps per minute) had better health outcomes compared with those who walked a similar amount each day but at a slower pace.
According to the study, brisk walkers had a 25% lower chance of developing heart disease or cancer and a 30% lower risk of developing dementia.
That doesn’t mean having to power-walk everywhere you go. But, having even 2,500-3,000 of your daily steps done at a brisk pace can go a long way to improving your health.