Walking Companions & Activity Levels

I’ve been experimenting with a new walking companion recently:

Meet Charlie!


I’ve been lucky enough to be a temporary foster while his regular foster is out of town.

Charlie is available for adoption through the Evanston Animal Shelter 


What does this have to do with Nordic Walking? 

I’ve been comparing walking, brisk walking with Charlie, slow running and moderate paced Nordic Walking activity levels.

Running and Nordic Walking are two of the activities that I’ve been doing that can consistently push me into the “Moderate Intensity” level of activity.


Full Explanation:

The CDC recommends 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” each week. I’ve been experimenting with tracking my heart rate while doing various activities to see what type and level I need to work at to reach the recommended levels.

Moderate Intensity

Equivalent to 12-14 on a RPE Scale of 6 to 20 (RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion)


Target Heart Rate between 50-70% of an individual’s maximum heart rate

The CDC also recommends that these instances of activity be done in at least 10 minute increments, but since it takes a bit of time to get my heart rate into the zone, I prefer to bite these off in 20-30 minute or longer chunks.

My Data

My Target Heart Rate is 171, so my “moderate-intensity” range is 86 to 120 beats per minute (bpm)

  • 50% level: 171 x 0.50 = 86 bpm
  • 70% level: 171 x 0.70 = 120 bpm

My data tracking

  • Walking: average of 81-84 bpm
  • Brisk Walking (Charlie’s pace): average of 77 bpm, lower average heart rate than regular walking due to the stop-start involved in walking a inquisitive dog
  • Nordic Walking, moderate pace: average of 92 bpm
  • Slow Running: average of 123 for my 5k Turkey Trot (alternating walk & slow run)


I’ve tracked Nordic Walking with a higher level of upper body effort at an average of 15 bpm higher than walking at the moderate same pace, so the more “push” you put into the poles, the greater the benefit!


What rate are you walking at?

Let me know in the comments if you need help calculating your heart rate zones!


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