Vigorous walking requires about 130 steps per minute, while jogging starts at about 140. Most of us know that we should walk briskly for the sake of our health. But how fast is brisk? A helpful new study of walking speed and health concludes that the answer seems to be about 100 steps per minute, a number that is probably lower than many of us might expect. Current exercise guidelines almost always state that we should walk at a brisk pace rather than stroll leisurely. But the recommendations do not always define what brisk walking means and can deploy daunting terminology or technicalities. For instance, that brisk walking requires three metabolic equivalents of task, or METs, meaning that it uses about three times as much energy as sitting still. Or that brisk walking occurs at a pace that increases our heart rate until it reaches about 70 percent of our heart rate maximum, a measurement that few of us fully understand or have the heart rate monitor and mathematical ability needed to track and calculate those percentages. The new study found that brisk walking involved a pace of about 2.7 miles per hour. Or put more simply, it required about 100 steps per minute a number that is much easier to measure on our own. Just count how many steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply that number by six. Or count how many steps you take in six seconds and multiply by 10. Or count how many steps you take in a single minute and skip the multiplication altogether. The good news is that this pace will probably not feel strenuous to most healthy people. This does not mean that we should stop walking after taking 100 steps. Total volume of steps remains important. The current federal exercise guidelines suggest 30 minutes of brisk walking most days, which would translate into 3,000 steps taken at the 100-steps-per-minute pace. And if you are more ambitious, you also could ramp up the pace to 130 steps per minute so that your walking becomes vigorous which is the technical term for more-draining exercise. In any case, please don’t disregard the benefits of any paced stroll. To varying degrees of pace walking is always a very healthy thing to do.
By Michael Gross
Michael is a pioneer in the burgeoning indoor trampoline park industry. He is managing member of Bounce! Trampoline Sports, overseeing the development and operation of 8 locations currently for this franchised brand. His trampoline park located in Valley Cottage, NY was the first of its kind in the tri-state area when it opened in November of 2011. Michael is a founding member of the IATP (international assoc. of trampoline parks) and on the ASTM committee establishing standards for the indoor trampoline park industry. Michael has been involved with health oriented physical activities his whole life and continues a daily regimen of cross fit training at his home in the heart of the Catskill