How to Use “cardio Points” in the New Google Fit

Thanks to the latest redesign, Google Fit no longer cares about your steps per day (although the number is still there, in fine print). Instead, you should keep track of your movement minutes and mysterious cardio points.

Movement minutes is the number of minutes during which you moved. You probably guessed it just by reading the words Movement Minutes. This could be exercise, or even short periods of activity, such as getting up for a cup of coffee.

But Heart Points seem to confuse people, so here’s what you need to know:

What do cardio scores actually measure?

There are many ways to determine how much exercise you should do each day , and this question is difficult to answer because the answer is always “the more the better.” If you use a device to measure exercise, it will judge you by the parameters it measures most easily — for example, the arbitrary 10,000 steps set by early pedometer manufacturers as a goal .

Heart points do have some evidence behind them. They represent a minute of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking), of which the American Heart Association states that you should be getting 150 per week .

But wait! Brisk walking is nothing if you are a runner. If you can work twice as hard, shouldn’t you get twice the points? The answer is yes – The American Heart Association states that 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (such as running) equals 150 minutes of moderate exercise.

Thus, Google Fit awards cardio scores accordingly. If you walk 30 minutes, you get 30 cardio points. If you run 30 minutes, you get 60 cardio points. Either way, you’ll make the American Heart Association happy if you earn 150 cardio points per week.

How do I change my target cardio score?

When I installed the new Google Fit, it suggested that I try to earn 10 cardio points every day. However, this is not enough for drawing up guidelines – perhaps I wanted to start lightly.

To set up a goal, tap Profile in the Google Fit app, and then you can set a goal for Cardio Score, but remember it’s a day. So, if you’re aiming for 150 per week, that’s about 22 per day. Aim higher if you can, or lower if you can’t. In any case, the more you move the better, so try to get more active over time if you can.


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