Calling All Walkers: Use This Minute Rule

Medically reviewed in December 2022

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
To get your cardiovascular health to the next level, 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 to 102 steps a minute and women needed about 91 to 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? Check your fitness level here.

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:

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