How 7,000 Steps a Day Can Reduce Your Risk of Early Death

Researchers say walking 7,000 steps a day can lower your risk of death by 50 percent to 70 percent.

– Their study matches up with the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

– If you get bored with walking, you can switch off with other exercises such as swimming and bicycling.

“Sometimes people may be discouraged by high exercise goals — 10,000 steps could seem unattainable, in which case people may say, ‘Well it’s not even worth trying,’” said Dr. Michael Tiso

Encouraging news

Tiso says the main point is to remember that exercise, and physical activity in general, is good for you.

Following the guidelines means paying attention to pace and how often you’re getting your heart rate up.

What the guidelines say

– Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as walking). – Another alternative is to get 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running or uphill hiking, rowing). – Another alternative (ideally) is a combination of both, spread out over the week. – Add moderate-intensity to high-intensity, muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week. – Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary. – Increase your amount and intensity gradually over time.

The study didn’t look at increasing health benefits after 7,000 steps per day.

The ideal scenario

However, the AHA says you can gain even more overall health benefits by being active in any activity or combination of activities for at least 300 minutes per week.

This roughly translates to about 5 hours over 7 days. This is the ideal goal and may take some time to work up to.