Here’s why: New research suggests that if your everyday walking speed is more than just a casual stroll, you’ll live longer than your pokier peers.
The Perfect Pace
Yep. When researchers reviewed nine similarly structured studies involving nearly 35,000 adults over the age of 65, study results suggested that gait speed was a big predictor of how long people would live. To reap longevity rewards and live longer than expected, people’s everyday walking speed needed to be at least 2.25 miles per hour. That’s a little over 3 feet every second. People with this gait speed typically outlived the slower-striding folks in the study. (Walking this much can slash your risk of a stroke.)
How Walks Talk
Of course, a real walking workout now and then, where you get your heart rate up and sweat a little, is great for your long-term health, too. But the everyday speed at which you get around could be an important sign of how healthy you are. A person’s walking ability can be a window into the health and function of a number of systems in the body because it requires a coordinated effort between your heart, lungs, skeletal muscles, and brain. So if you walk well — and often — it can become a powerful tool in your quest to live a longer life. (Too cold to go out and walk? Try this walking workout you can do in your own living room.)