Walking is one of the most simple and accessible forms of exercise you can do regularly. Adding it to your routine can make a big difference in weight control. One study found the average person gains about 2.2 pounds a year during middle age. Yet, throughout 15 years of research, the study showed individuals who walked regularly gained significantly less weight than those who didn’t. To reap additional calorie-burning and health-boosting benefits, you’ll want to walk at a moderate pace. check out the below information from the Myfitnesspal blog about walking!
While the pace differs from person to person, “moderate intensity usually looks like breaking a light sweat and heavier breathing while still being able to chat if needed,” says Pete Gaffney, a NASM-certified personal trainer.
Technically speaking, moderate intensity is when your heart rate is between 50–65% of your max, says Dr. Leada Malek, a physical therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. A brisk pace would be slightly higher, around 70% of your max (around 100 steps per minute), and you would feel more out of breath.
To calculate what a moderate pace would look like for you, begin by calculating your maximum heart rate. The formula for this is subtracting your age from 220. So, for a 30-year-old, your maximum heart rate will be 190. For our purposes here, that means your moderate heart rate is roughly 124 beats per minute (bpm).
“Think of this intensity as a 5 out of 10 on the RPE — or rate of perceived exertion — scale,” says Malek, adding that the RPE scale is a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being very easy, hardly any exertion (i.e., sleeping, watching TV) and 10 being max effort, (you’re completely out of breath). At a moderate pace, “you’re able to talk, but you can’t sing, as opposed to vigorous intensity, where you may need to pause every few words.”
THE BENEFITS OF MODERATE-INTENSITY WALKING
Walking at a moderate-intensity pace is much more low-impact than running, meaning it’s a great option for people of all ages and ability levels. Also, regular walking can lower your mortality rate — especially if you up the pace.
Moderate-intensity walking shows a similarly visible reduction in risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, when compared to vigorous-intensity running, according to research in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular.
Gaffey cautions that moderate-intensity walking might not be the best option if you are already well trained and looking to get significantly leaner. “If you are already completing 10,000–15,000 steps per day through a physically active job or lifestyle, an additional element of challenge such as walking uphill or using a stairclimber might be helpful.”