As astonishing as the title of this post sounds, it’s absolutely not a joke at all.
A new study published by Line Jee Hartmann Rasmussen et. al. found that slow walkers demonstrate accelerated brain aging at 45 when compared to faster walkers.
To get the data, Dr. Rasmussen studied 904 subjects from the time they were 3 until they turned 45.
The slower walkers had clear and obvious signs of faster brain aging: a smaller brain size, lesser brain thickness, smaller brain surface area, and a higher amount of white matter. In other words, their brains aged much faster than they should have.
And interestingly enough, the faster walkers had a much younger and more youthful appearance because their skin didn’t age as fast.
If all that’s not fascinating enough, the study used neurocognitive tests for the participants, when they were just 3 years old, to correctly predict which would become fast walkers and which would become slow walkers.
Whether you become a fast walker or slow walker is actually hardwired into your physiology!
What Can You Do with this New Information?
Does all this mean that basically your genetics control how fast you’ll walk and how healthy you’ll end up later in life?
No. That’s not the conclusion at all.
Rather, your walking speed should be considered an indicator of the potential health problems you can face in midlife and later life.
The study did not identify a specific speed you should walk at to get the maximum health benefits and avoid problems caused by a slower walking speed. However, the author who reviewed the study, Stephanie Studentski, a medical doctor, suggested a pace of about 2.46 miles per hour.
So, the action you can take is to generally walk at a brisk pace. Not a hurried or full-bore pace. But at a quick and energetic pace.
While the study did not conclude the underlying factor that ties walking speed and your health together, it suggests this process is all driven by the health of your brain.
In conclusion, make sure you have properly fitting footwear so you don’t experience any injuries to your feet or ankles. Otherwise, walk it up so your brain stays healthy and you avoid many age-related health problems!