How fast you walk might affect how quickly or slowly you age. In a new study published in the journal Communications Biology, researchers at the University of Leicester collected genetic data on over 400,000 adults in the U.K. They found that people who regularly performed brisk walks throughout their life were biologically 16 years younger by their middle-aged years. The researchers observed that a faster walking pace, regardless of how much exercise you got, was associated with longer telomere length. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each chromosome that protect the chromosome from damage. Normally our telomeres shorten as we age, eventually leading to cell death. Studies have previously shown that just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day is associated with longer life expectancy. This study also suggests that doctors could evaluate walking speed as a way to identify people at greater risk for chronic, age-related diseases.
That’s Gotta Hurt
The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever
Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.Get the Book