Pace Yourself Against Aging Through Fast Walking
This entry was posted on September 8, 2020.
Walking has ancient roots on its glorious health benefits.
From caveman to pioneers, walking has become a primary activity.
People from the Stone Age use walking to hunt for food, while the 1800s have their horses and carriages, walking is still the main pastime of the people living in the city or the country.
Science has proven that placing one foot in front of the other leads to some seriously impressive mental and physical benefits.
But wait, upping your pace through fast walking can even give your greater benefits.
So head outdoors for a quick walk and pick up the pace.
No sooner will you feel the “dramatic difference in whether you live or die over the next decade,” says Dr. Phillips, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.
Studies on Fast Paced Walking and its Effect on Aging
If your walking pace has slowed down in your forties, you may be aging faster than you realize.
Several studies from all over the world have proven this reality.
- Research on New Zealanders discovered that those with the slowest walking speed showed accelerated aging across various biomarkers including body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, cholesterol level, white blood cell count, gum health, and cardiorespiratory fitness—plus the rate of facial aging.Slow walkers also had a reduction in total brain volume, performing worse on tests of memory, processing speed, reasoning, and other cognitive functions.Overall, this shows that walking speed can affect both physical and cognitive health, and is an “inexpensive indicator of well-being across adulthood,” as commented by Stephanie Studenski, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
- In Britain, a study showed that those who reported walking at a brisk or fast pace is beneficial for long term health and longevity compared to slow walking, particularly for older people.
The Science Behind Combating Aging Through Fast Walking
Aging is technically the biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense, defined as the collection of changes that render human beings progressively more likely to die.
The changes include:
- Changes in appearance like a gradual reduction in height and weight
- Loss of muscle and bone mass
- Lower metabolic rate
- Longer reaction times
- Declines in Memory Functions
- Declines in the kidney, pulmonary, and immune functions
- Endocrine Changes
- Declines in exercise performance
How then can fast walking contribute to combating these changes as you age?
Walking at an increased speed requires the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system to work together with your muscles, heart, lungs, and eyes.
Michael Roizen, MD commented on how our physical and mental health are tied together relating it to fast walking. He said, “ As you stress your muscles as you walk faster, you produce hormones that stimulate your brain to grow and stimulate brain function.”
Fast walking, therefore, can be a means to reach the goal of arrested aging reported by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), which is to continually restore vitality and bodily function by removing the damage that is inevitably caused by metabolic processes.
Lead researcher, Line Rasmussen, Ph.D., of Duke University, stated that your speed in walking in midlife tells us a lot about how much your bodies and brains have aged over time.
Consequently, walking quickly, which involves the function and interplay of many systems (central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscles, and vision), is an excellent way of keeping your mind and body in shape to combat aging.
Rasmussen further said, “A person’s walking speed depends on the function of all these systems, and reduced walking speed can be an attribute of advanced aging and deterioration function of these organ systems.”
In a nutshell, no matter your age, physical activity, like fast walking, helps promote a healthy body composition, maintain muscle mass, and lowers cardiovascular risks, all of which are involved in the inevitable changes that happen while you age.
How Fast Should ‘Fast Walking’ be to Combat Aging?
New research suggests that a pace of about 100 steps per minute qualifies as brisk walking or fat walking for many people.
Harvard Medical School recommends getting started with 10 minutes a day and gradually add a few more minutes every week. Count how many steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply by six to determine your steps per minute. Work your way to get close to the fast walking pace.
Dr.Rothberg, director of the University of Michigan’s Weight Management Clinic recommends walking at least 30 minutes a day five days a week to maintain a healthy weight. But you can walk for shorter periods with fast walking to help burn some stored body fat.
Walk your way to anti-aging through upping your pace with fast walking! Get the mental and physical boost by adding fast walking into your daily routine. No better time to begin than now.