We all know the drill: a “brisk” walk daily is the key to good health. But as it turns out, this terminology is not subjective.
According to new research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (which summed up the findings of 38 studies of men and women ageing from 18 to elderly), 100 steps a minute (or 4.3km per hour) is the goal.
“This is a number that is very easy for any of us to measure on our own,” says Catrine Tudor-Locke, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts. “You do not need any special equipment or expertise.”
Simply count how many steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply this by six.
“The good news is that this pace will probably not feel strenuous to most people,” she says.
The idea is to increase your heart rate to 70 per cent of its max, which is the ideal intensity and cadence for weight loss.
The catch? You can’t stop at 100 steps. In conjunction with The Heart Foundation’s daily physical activity guideline, 30-45 mins of “brisk walking” aka, roughly 3,000 steps at the 100 steps a minute pace is recommended.
And for those of us looking for something a little more strenuous, aim for a “vigorous walking pace” (130 steps per minute.)
“Jogging generally starts at 140 steps per minute,” Catrine adds.