Forget 10,000 steps a day, here’s what to focus on

Have you taken your steps?

You’ve probably heard that taking 10,000 steps a day is the key to health and longevity. But according to one expert, there’s another number you should consider: 30.

Heather Milton, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone Health, says it’s not about steps, but how long you move at a moderate intensity level.

“The sweet spot to break the sedentary lifestyle [is moving] every 30 minutes. If you walk, your steps contribute to it [and thats] helping your health,” Milton recently explained to HuffPost.

Rather than focusing specifically on steps, 30 minutes of moderate activity should be your daily burn goal. Thirty is also the maximum number of minutes you should be sitting or sedentary during the day, Milton advised.

The exercise expert explained that the standard of 10,000 steps is more aesthetic than athletic. The number is based on the Manpo-kei pedometer designed in Japan in the 1960s. According to Milton, the Japanese character for 10,000 looks like a person walking, and so the name and number became a marketing tool with no real basis in medical research or scientific

Despite the lack of evidence, 10,000 has remained the gold standard for daily exercise.

Milton told Huff Post, “The idea is if you get the right intensity out of it [10,000-step] walk, then you’re getting the CDC and ACSM recommended amount of aerobic exercise per day because that equates to about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

Milton refers to current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine, which say you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, plus two strength training days. for optimal form.

Here’s how to know you’re doing the right kind of movement.

The conversation test

For these steps to count, experts suggest they must pass the “conversation test.” gpointstudio –

Not all steps are the same.

Milton explains that to meet the recommended amount of aerobic exercise, the pace of our steps should pass what she calls the “conversation test,” meaning that your exercise is intense enough to make communication difficult. maintain

If you and I were trying to have a conversation, could you just answer yes or no to my questions? There is a threshold dose or a dose of intensity that allows you to increase your health,” Milton explained. This threshold is between 64 and 76% of your maximum heart rate, which means that simply entering your walking steps for the office or walking to it from your car probably won’t cut it.Instead, you need to get a little out of breath, feeling your heart rate rise.

According to the American Heart Association, moderate-intensity exercise includes brisk walking, dancing, gardening, tennis, or a leisurely bike ride.

Steps and standing can save your life

Image of a happy young man working on a desktop computer in a modern workplace.  Young entrepreneur working on start-up.
If you have a desk job, science suggests that standing can save your life. Jacob Lund –

Inactivity is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, research has shown. According to studies, exercise, especially if you exercise outdoors, can also be a big help for your mental health.

The Mayo Clinic recommends finding ways to step it up and keep moving during the workday; including using a standing desk, placing work surfaces above a treadmill, and walking instead of sitting during a meeting.

Milton explains that counting steps can be an effective tool for measuring physical activity: “If you have a Fitbit or other device that’s counting your steps, you can see how low they are and you can set goals to increase them Over time, it may not be structured exercise, but it can help with your metabolism and overall health.

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