Walking is good for you, but walking faster is better, according to a new study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Researchers found that self-reported brisk walkers had lower risks of all-cause mortality compared to people who considered themselves average or slow walkers. Interestingly, pace was more important for health than overall time spent moving was.
Even if you're already active, there’s likely an advantage to speeding up, says Robin Marcus, PT, Ph.D., professor of physical therapy and athletic training at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, who was not involved in the study but has done her own research on light exercise.
Walking at a clip could trigger changes in things like physiology and stress levels that are good for your health, she explains. Plus, even short durations of moderate exercise count toward your daily dose of movement, and walking briskly counts.
You’ll benefit from picking up the pace if you’re walking for 10 minutes or more, Marcus says, even if you’re not rushing anywhere. Aim for a 15-minute mile, fast enough to raise your heart rate but slow enough to hold a conversation.
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