What is a good speed when walking for fitness?

Walking speeds will vary for each individual.  Reasoning for these variances includes the length of your stride, your current fitness level, and the intensity you plan to walk at.  A good way to gage your walking will be to know your heart rate zone and to complete a talk test.

Your heart rate can be determined by taking 220 and subtracting this number from your age.  Following, multiple this number by 65% to 95% and you will have a variety of heart rate zones.  Working within 75-80% of your heart rate max is a good level.  You may work above or below that rate depend on the intensity you want to work within.

Another option and an easier option will be the talk test.  This test is simple; if you are able to complete full sentences then you are able to increase your intensity.  When you are at a higher intensity, you should only be able to produce a few words at a time as compared to full sentences.

Again, all of this will depend on the level you want to work at.  My suggestion, give it you’re all, if you are going to exercise then put in 110%!

 A good speed when walking for fitness is a very individual thing. It depends upon what your level of fitness is and what your goals are. A good indicator as to whether or not you are walking at a good speed would be based upon whether or not you feel you are stressing your cardiorespiratory system. A heart rate monitor would be ideal for you to use to determine that. Ideally when walking for fitness, you want to get your heart rate up to approximately 65 to 75% of your predicted heart rate max, which is calculated as 220 minus your age.  So let's run through an example:

If you are 40 years old, then your predicted heart rate max is 180 (220-40). When you are walking, your heart rate should therefore be in the 117 - 135 range (65 - 75% of 180).

Now this is just a guideline. If you have built a good cardiorespiratory base, i.e. you have been doing cardiorespiratory training for a while, and then you could probably push yourself a little harder. The key is to listen to your body. If you feel like you are stressing your cardiorespiratory system (you are getting slightly winded, your heart rate is up), then you are probably walking at a good speed.

Continue Learning about Walking

How can owning a dog help me exercise regularly?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Studies have shown that people with dogs tend to be more likely to exercise, probably because it giv...
More Answers
What is spirited walking?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Spirited walking means finding a connection with something bigger than yourself while walking such a...
More Answers
How much should I walk to stay fit?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
Walk for a minimum of thirty minutes each day. This can be broken up into shorter periods--say thr...
More Answers
How much daily dog walking does it take to improve health?
Dawn MarcusDawn Marcus
Less than half of Americans get an adequate amount of exercise to achieve good health benefits. ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.