Now that we are near some nice weather in Northern MN, we can all get moving outdoors. Many of our members have told us that they look foward to being able to go for nice long walks with a family member or friend. Here are some FAQ’s when it comes to walking.
How can I determine how fast I’m walking?
The easiest way to gauge your speed is to count the number of steps you take per minute. Experts us this number to calculate pace, based on average stride length of 2 1/2 feet. (Your stride length is the distance from your heel of one foot to the heel of the other foot when you take a normal step.) To make it easier, we’ve done the math for you.
70 steps per minute – 30 minutes per mile, 2 miles per hour
105 steps per minute – 20 minutes per mile, 3 miles per hour
140 step per minute – 15 minutes per mile, 4 miles per hour
If you pay atention to your steps, after a while you’ll be able to estimate your pace fairly accurately without bothering to count. You’ll just know what a 20- or a 15- minute mile feels like.
How many calories do I burn by walking a mile?
An average 150-pound person burns between 80 and 100 calories per mile. But that number changes depending on many factors – height, weight, fitness level, terrain, clothing, and temperature.
If your goal is to lose weight, forget about the numbers and focus on developing a healthy eating plan, incorporating as much physical activity into your daily routine as possible, and walking for at least 30 minutes per day.
How can I evaluate my fitness level as a walker?
James Rippe, MD, founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute in Celebration, FL, and a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida, has developed the following formula to help walkers assess their fitness by age. Walk 1 mile as quickly as you can, then compare your time:
Under 30 – If you can walk 1 mile in 13 minutes or less, you’re in great shape!
30 to 39 – A 14-minute mile means you’re in good cardiovascular health.
40 to 59 – A 14- to 15-minute mile means you’re in peak condition.
60 to 69 – Doing a 15-minute mile is an excellent pace.
70+ – If you can walk 1 mile in about 18 minutes, you’re very fit.
If you exceed the ideal time for your age group 3 to 6 minutes (or more), you’re not in the best shape aerobically. But don’t worry, just keep walking. Exercising consistenly can lower your time.