STEP 4: REALLY PUSH IT
Cruising at 135? Now you’re ready for 144 steps per minute (48 steps in 20 seconds), roughly the same pace that the National Walkers’ Health Study found significantly reduced the risk of premature death. Repeat Step 3, with 135 steps per minute as your base pace and 144 steps a minute as your interval pace. For a very intense, calorie-blasting workout, step your way up to 150 steps per minute (about 4 mph).
Anyone who has ever limped in shoes that pinch knows they can hold you back—or injure you. Here’s how to find the best pair for you.
1. Look for shoes that are:
Flexible. Your feet will fight stiff shoes as they roll through each step—which can lead to shin splints. Shoes should twist easily and bend at the ball of the foot, but not at the arch’s middle. (An arch that’s too flexible might leave you vulnerable to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.)
Beveled at the heels. When you walk, the heel strikes first, so the material there shouldn’t be too bulky to accommodate a smooth heel-to-toe roll. To test whether shoes have beveled heels, put them on a table and press the eraser end of a pencil into the cup of each heel; the toes of the shoes should lift off the ground.
Designed for walking, not running. Running shoes have high heels and flared soles that give runners stability and support but interfere with good walking form. They also usually cost more than walking shoes.
Not super light. You want enough cushion to absorb the shock of each step, especially if you’re significantly overweight.
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