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Love to Walk Fast? You May Live Longer

By Sandy Schroeder

Recent studies on fast walkers published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered fast walkers and average speed walkers are less likely to die early than slow walkers. Their mortality rate and heart attack risk dropped by 20 percent.

These results were even better for the walkers who were over 60. Those average walkers cut their mortality rate by 46 percent, and the fast walkers reduced their rate by 53 percent.

In general, speed walking benefits most people, according to Time magazine. (As always, individuals should check with their doctor before beginning a new exercise.)

Overall Speed Walking Benefits

  • Raise the heart rate to a better heart rate zone
  • Increase range of motion and flexibility of joints and muscles
  • Upgrade workouts from weight loss to endurance and fitness
  • Cover greater distances in less time

Ready to Pick up Your Pace?

It may seem like a real challenge to just start walking faster, but it may be well worth the effort, especially if you get very little exercise in your daily work and home routines.

Researchers say people who walk very little (under 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day), and are not very physically fit, may find they are out of breath in a few minutes when they start fast walking. However, that may be exactly what is needed to strengthen individual fitness.  After checking in with your doctor, you can decide if you are a fast or a slow walker right now.

Measure it - See how far you walk in a half hour or hour. Walking three to four miles in an hour is considered a fast walking pace. Set a timer and mile tracker and see how you do.

Do a 30-minute check - See how far you walked in a half-hour and double the distance to see if you are in the three to four mile range.

Monitor your body – When you are out there attempting to walk fast, see if you are a little out of breath or sweating. Those cues may indicate you are walking fast enough to improve your health and help your heart.

“The main takeaway message is that stepping up the pace may be a good hack to make walking more health-enhancing and getting your daily steps in, however, fast or slow, is a healthy behavior that should be encouraged.” says Australian researcher, Emmanuel Stamatakis, University of Sydney School of Medicine in Australia. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loveland, Colo.

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