Maintaining a Healthy Activity Level
A walking goal of 10,000 steps a day (approximately 3km) falls in line with most recommendations for minimal physical activity to reduce disease risk and capture the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
More specifically, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends:
- To promote and maintain good health, adults aged 18-65 yr should maintain a physically active lifestyle.
- They should perform moderate-intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 min on 5 days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 min on three days each week.
- Combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity can be performed to meet this recommendation.For example, a person can meet the recommendation by walking briskly for 30 min twice during the week and then jogging for 20 min on 2 other days.
- These moderate or vigorous intensity activities are in addition to the light intensity activities frequently performed during daily life (e.g., self care, washing dishes, using light tools at a desk) or activities of very short duration (e.g., taking out trash, walking to parking lot at store or office)
- Moderate intensity aerobic activity, which is generally equivalent to a brisk walk and noticeably accelerates the heart rate, can be accumulated toward the 30-min minimum by performing bouts each lasting 10 or more minutes.
- Vigorous intensity activity is exemplified by jogging and causes rapid breathing and a substantial increase in heart rate.
- In addition, at least twice each week adults will benefit by performing activities using the major muscles of the body that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance.
- Because of the dose-response relation between physical activity and health, persons who wish to further improve their personal fitness, reduce their risk for chronic diseases and disabilities, or prevent unhealthy weight gain will likely benefit by exceeding the minimum recommended amount of physical activity.
Written by Mark Borslein