Counting steps was made popular with Fitbit. Pedometers were a novel fitness gadget not too long ago. After all, Walking is one of the best exercises one can do. Not only does walking help one’s cardio fitness levels but it also helps with reducing stress and keeping your muscles relaxed and healthy.
But..All steps measured and accounted for are not same.
Google Fit’s Paced Walking feature helps you in increasing the “intensity” of your walk.
As Google puts it “There’s a difference between wandering through the garden and dashing to catch the bus. That difference is intensity, and scientists have found increased health benefits associated with walking faster.”
Walking has the potential to play a key role in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease according to several studies. .
Researchers conducted an extensive study and examined data across seven years on 474,919 people in the UK, during which time 12,823 of them died. The subjects had defined their own walking pace as slow, steady/average or brisk. The brisk walkers had longer life expectancies, on average.
According to Rob Harle, a research scientist at Google Fit “The idea is simple: Pop in some headphones during a Paced Walking session and we’ll play an audio beat — a gentle background tick — for you to fall in step with,” Rob explains. “You can use the app to change the beat speed and vary the intensity of your walks. The beat plays on top of other audio, so you can still play music or podcasts while you walk.
How to Use Paced Walking in Google Fit
- Lunch Google Fit on your phone and plug in some headphones
- Tap on ‘Try Paced Walking’
- Set the pace that you want to use ( Brisk walk is estimated as 100 steps per minute)
- Walk to the beat in the background ( The beat sounds like a faint metronome)
- A map icon helps track your route while you use Paced Walking
- The Pause and resume buttons help you with pausing the activity ( While at a traffic light)
- Tap on the stop button once you have completed your walk
The feature automatically tracks all the essential metrics related to your paced walking activity.
From your Google Fit home screen, you can see the active time, distance, calories, move minutes, elevation, and the cadence associated with your walking exercise.
Once you start picking up the pace using Paced Walking, you’ll earn more Heart Points in Google Fit — for every minute that you walk at a pace of over 100 steps per minute, you’ll earn one Heart Point.
Google Fit’s heart points are in line with the American Heart association’s recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, which translates to 150 heart points.
The team led by Google’s Kapil Parakh, MD and Robert Harle was instrumental in launching this Google Fit feature.
Next time, you are going on a leisurely walk around your neighborhood or walking to the store to pick up a gallon, plug your headphones and give the Paced Walking activity on Google Fit a try!