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



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 keep in mind: 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 best place to break up sedentary time (is to move) every 30 minutes. If you walk, your steps contribute to that (and that) improves your health,” she told 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 seated or sedentary during the day, Milton advised.

The exercise expert explained that the 10,000 step standard 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 resembles a person walking, so the name and number became a marketing tool with no real basis in medical or scientific research.

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

Milton told HuffPost: “The idea is that if you get the right intensity of that walk (10,000 steps), then you get the CDC and ACSM recommended amount of aerobic exercise per day, because that equates to about 30 minutes of moderate exercise. -intensity activity.

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

Here’s how to know if you’re taking 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 explained that to meet the recommended amount of aerobic exercise, the rhythm of our steps must pass what she calls “the speech test,” meaning that your exercise is intense enough that communication is difficult to communicate. maintain.

“If you and I tried to have a conversation, would you even be able to answer “yes” or “no” to my questions? There is a threshold dose or an intensity dose that then helps improve your health,” she explained. This threshold is between 64% and 76% of your maximum heart rate, meaning that just getting your steps in while walking around the office or walking to and from your car probably won’t be enough. Instead, you should be a little out of breath and feel your heart rate increasing.

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

Walking and standing could save your life

Shot of happy young man working on desktop computer in modern workplace.  Young entrepreneur working in startup.
If you work in an office, science suggests that standing could save your life. Jacob Lund –

Inactivity is linked to obesity, high blood pressure and an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, research shows. According to studies, exercise, especially if you exercise outdoors, can also benefit your mental health.

The Mayo Clinic recommends finding ways to step up and stay moving during the workday, including using a standing desk, placing work surfaces on top of a treadmill, and walking instead to remain seated during a meeting.

Milton explained that counting steps can be an effective tool for measuring physical activity. “If you have a Fitbit or other device that counts your steps, you can see how low they are, and then you can set goals to increase them over time,” she said. “It may not be structured exercise, but it is physical activity. And it can help your metabolism and overall health.

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