Brisk walking is great exercise, and like other endurance exercises, it can increase your heart rate and breathing. Endurance exercises keep you healthy, improve your fitness, and help you do the tasks you need to do every day.
Walking is the most popular physical activity among adults. Taking a walk is low cost and doesn’t require any special clothes or equipment.
- lower your risk of health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
- strengthen your bones and muscles
- help you burn more calories
- lift your mood
Make walking fun by going to places you enjoy, like a park or shopping center. Bring along a friend or family member to chat with, or listen to some of your favorite music as you walk. Most inactive people get fewer than 5,000 steps a day, and some very inactive people get only 2,000 steps a day. Try wearing a step counter for a few days to see how you’re doing.
For some, walking for the recommended 30 minutes a day might be difficult. If so, try walking for 10 minutes at a time and build up to three times a day. As your endurance improves, walk longer until you can advance to a single 30-minute walk.
As your walk becomes easier, add new challenges, such as climbing a hill, extending the time you walk, increasing your walking pace, or adding an additional day of walking.
Gauge your progress with walking:
- Fewer than 5,000 steps a day, gradually add 3,000 to 4,000 more steps a day.
- About 8,000 steps a day, you’re probably meeting the recommended activity target.
- 10,000 or more steps a day, you can be confident that you’re getting an adequate amount of endurance activity.
- 10,000 steps a day comfortably, try for 15,000 steps a day, which would put you in the high activity group.
Tools to tracking steps