According to the ACSM brochure: Starting a Walking Program
Walking is one of the simplest and least expensive options to increase your physical activity level and improve your overall health. It is a weight-bearing exercise that helps maintain bone density and is easy on joints. Walking at a brisk pace is considered moderate-intensity physical activity, and doing this most days of the week for 30 minutes or more enables you to meet the criteria for physical activity for health benefits recommended by ACSM and the American Heart Association.
Benefits of Walking:
- Walking significantly reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
- Walking works several major muscle groups – the knee extensors (quadriceps), hip extensors (hamstrings and gluteal muscles) and muscles of the lower legs (gastrocnemius and soleus in the back, anterior tibialis on the front, and arch muscles in the feet).
- Walking improves circulation, muscular endurance and dynamic balance.
Set a daily goal:
- For most healthy adults is 10,000 steps per day, or approximately five miles.
- If you are just beginning try to increase your steps by 1,000 per day every two weeks until you reach your 10,000 steps per day.
Use the following step index to classify your activity level based on steps per day. A pedometer, phone application, or wearable device to count your steps:
NUMBER OF STEPS ACTIVITY LEVEL
5,000-7,499 Low Active
7,500-9,999 Somewhat Active
12,500 or more Highly Active
*Developed by C Tudor-Locke and DR Bassett Jr. (2004)
Becoming and staying regularly active is one of the keys to good health and weight maintenance, and walking is an easy way to become and stay active for life.
Check out the brochure: Starting a Walking Program