Walk faster for a longer life?

Walking faster could extend your life. So says research led by the University of Sydney, which found walking at an average pace was associated with a 20% reduction for all-cause mortality compared with walking at a slow pace. Walking at a brisk pace reduced the risk by 24%. A similar result was found for risk of cardiovascular disease, though this time, interestingly, reversed: 24% at an average pace and 21% percent at a brisk pace.

The protective effects were even more striking in older age groups. Average pace walkers aged 60+ saw a 46% reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular causes, and fast pace walkers 53%.

The findings appeared in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine dedicated to Walking and Health. A fast pace was defined as 5k-7k per hour, depending on fitness level – enough to make the walker break into a sweat or become slightly out of breath, if sustained.

The benefits seem to extend to all – no matter sex or BMI – producing a significantly reduced risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. The research suggests simply increasing walking pace may be a straightforward way for people to improve heart health and reduce risk for premature mortality.

Check how you can walk your way to better health here:

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