There is nothing better than a walk to keep fit, chat to a friend, or just chill out whilst getting toned at the same time.
But an intriguing new study spanning 40 years has found you need to pick up the pace or risk premature ageing of your entire internal workings, and potentially even a smaller brain and reduced cortical thickness.
A New Zealand university, Duke, worked with over 900 participants and found slower walkers aged roughly five years faster from the age of 26 to 45 than the quickest.
The research also revealed the slowest 20% of walkers had smaller brain volumes.
The research also confirmed the walking speed of a 45 year old can then be an indicator of how fast both their body and their brain are ageing.
The study began in Dunedin over 40 years ago with a group of 3 year olds.
In short, the organs seem to deteriorate faster in people who walk slower based on biomarker readings including dental health and blood pressure.
An assessment of individual’s facial ages was also conducted by a panel to accompany the other findings.
Whilst the findings are new and somewhat revolutionary, the question now is what factors effect the brain’s development (and therefore our walking gait) and why.
Stephanie Studenski from the University of Pittsburgh, who wasn’t involved in the study but is the author of a commentary on the research says:
“If we can learn to understand the nature of the links that this almost five-decades-old study seems to show, we might stand to potentially positively influence social factors that could boost biological longevity and neurocognitive function, and potentially help arrest cognitive decline.
The human brain is dynamic; it is constantly reorganising itself according to exposures and experience.”
But its certainly enough to make me pick up the pace!
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