What do you focus on more while walking- speed or steps? The most common answer for this is steps. We do track the distance we have covered while walking but not consider the speed of walking. This is probably because numerous studies have shown health benefits of walking 10,000 steps or more a day. These include better heart health, weight loss and diabetes management. Some research has even found that walking helps in preventing dementia, memory loss, cancer and even premature death. However, a recent study published in Jama Internal Medicine and Jama Neurology suggests that walking speed is as important as steps.
Faster pace while walking is found to provide more benefits than slow walking with max steps. Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health have mentioned in the study that one should opt for a faster walk even if the steps are less for protective health benefits. As per Data, faster walking can reduce the risk of chronic ailments like dementia by 25% even if the total steps taken are less than 4,000.
As mentioned already, walking at least 2,000 steps everyday is essential for holistic wellness. It cuts down the risk of numerous health issues both acute and chronic. However, the significance of pace is more than the value of total steps.
One of the lead researchers emphasised that most people worry about steps but rarely think of their pace. The increased use of fitness tracker apps and devices have made people conscious about the steps which is why everyone is interested in measuring the number of steps they take in a day. Only a few advanced tracking apps and devices measure the speed while walking. It is important that people check their speed and try to increase it while walking to double up the benefits.
You can start with normal speed and gradually increase. This would help the legs gain strength and become flexible to walk at higher speed. Walking 30 minutes at a higher pace is better than walking for an hour at a slower speed. If you wish to keep chronic illnesses including physical, mental and psychological diseases at bay, start considering your speed over steps. This can help boost your overall health.
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