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Tracking your daily 10,000 steps might seem like the easiest way to make sure you’re getting enough exercise.
But is light walking enough to boost your overall fitness level?
A new study suggests it’s not as effective as regular moderate to vigorous exercise.
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But an August 26 report in the European Heart Journal sought to measure just how much better certain types of physical activity are for your cardiovascular system.
The researchers recruited over 2,000 participants who were also part of the Framingham Heart Study, a multigenerational project that tracks family patterns of disease over several decades.
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When sedentary individuals increased their amount of moderate to vigorous exercise by just 17 minutes per day, the researchers saw their peak oxygen uptake (VO2) levels increase by 5 percent.
For this study, the researchers classified walking 66 to 99 steps per minute as low-level exertion, while 100 to 129 steps per minute as moderate, and 130+ as vigorous.
“... performing at least a moderate level of exercise is over three times more efficient than just walking at a relatively low cadence.”
“There is also ample evidence from other studies that higher step counts are associated with a host of favorable health outcomes. So, I would not want to dissuade people from following their step counts.”