Make It Brisk!

All walking is good exercise but brisk is best, especially for your heart and lungs.

Regardless of age or fitness level, brisk walking can improve your health and promote longevity.   

Photo - Amelia Calvert

You're walking briskly when:

  • your heart beats faster than normal but without racing.;
  • your breathing is deeper than normal but  you can still talk while you walk;
  • you feel a warm glow.

You may find it easier to start your walk at an easy pace and build up to a brisk one, slowing down to an easy pace again at the end.


The Talk Test

The talk test is a simple method that allows you to establish your brisk walking pace. The aim is to be able to walk at a speed that allows you to hold a conversation without losing your breath. If you find it difficult to talk consistently while you are walking, slow down. If you can sing while you are walking, increase your pace.

30 minutes brisk walking a day will:

  • Improve performance of the heart, lungs and circulation.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and strokes – inactive and unfit people have double the risk of dying from CHD.
  • Control blood sugar.
  • Improve cholesterol levels.
  • Increase bone density.

Brisk walking as a way of life reduces risk factors associated with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease


The aim of the plan is to get you walking briskly for at least half an hour on at least five days of the week.