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Your Daily Walk Doesn’t Need to Be as Long as You Think

A person wearing tennis shoes walks a trail.
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You won’t be shocked to hear that walking is good for you. You’ve probably heard it a lot, actually. You might, however, be surprised that the amount you should be walking is less than you think.

In order to reduce your risk of heart disease, you should be walking 21 minutes each day.

If you’re anything like me, you probably thought the goal was 30 minutes per day, and sure, that’s only a seven-minute difference. But seven minutes is a lot of time when you’ve got a busy schedule. As it turns out, you can shave that time off and only walk 21 minutes per day (or 30 minutes five days per week if you prefer) in order to reduce your risk of heart disease.

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Keep track of your walking goals with a FitBit.

A review conducted by Harvard Medical School analyzed data around the topic of walking and heart health and ascertained the 21-minute goal. According to the review, meeting this goal lowers your risk of developing heart disease by 30%. But walking each day is also good for a ton of other interconnected conditions.

Well+Good spoke with Brian Lima, MD, a cardiac surgeon who explained that walking also helps reduce the risk of “elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.” Ultimately, by reducing the chance of getting these related conditions, you also reduce your chance of getting heart disease.

If you don’t feel like you’ve got 30 minutes in your day due to work, school, or family life, go ahead and shorten it to 21 minutes—just be sure you’re walking daily.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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