Walking to the Beat

Walking is an excellent workout, but are you getting the most out of your workout? You might have to push it a bit more to improve your fitness level. Marching to some of your favourite tunes just might do the trick.

Thirty minutes of moderate exercise, five times a week for good health – or so the mantra goes. But what’s “moderate exercise” for walkers? While pedometers track the number of steps we take, they give no information on how intensely we’re exercising.

To help, researchers at San Diego State University say we should aim for at least 100 steps a minute. “This threshold is the absolute minimum,” says Dr Simon Marshall, associate professor at the university’s School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.

Getting the Most Out of Your Walking Routine

Walkers trying to increase their fitness need to push even harder. “One hundred steps will help cardiovascular health and lower your risk of some cancers, but to improve fitness and aerobic capacity more intensity is needed.”

March to the Beat of That Drum

Use the beat of a favourite song to set your pace, says Marshall. “If you walk in time to a song with 100-105 beats per minute (bpm), you can match each step to the beat.”

The Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” at 103bpm is “an ideal tempo to keep you close to moderate intensity”, he says. Also good are Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body” and U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

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