It is not uncommon for people to think that a walk does not count as exercise. Social media and the rising voice of the fitness world have led many to believe that exercise only counts if it involves vigorous high intensity exercise with kettle bells and plenty of sweating.
Here’s the truth – the Australian preventative health recommendation is for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days. The aim is for 150-300 minute of moderate intensity exercise in a week period or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise in the same period.
What counts as moderate intensity though? In moderate intensity exercise the heart rate should be 50 to 75% of maximum. If you are walking, for it to count as moderate intensity exercise you should ideally be slightly breathless (if you have a walking partner you should be slightly puffed when talking to them) but not gasping for air, sweaty with a raised heart rate.
Walking counts as moderate intensity exercise if you build up the pace, walk on an incline or choose to take some arm or leg weights with you.
A walk does count as exercise and if you do it regularly enough it is enough to reduce your chronic disease risk!