How brisk walking can help slow the aging process – West France Evening Edition

How brisk walking can help slow the aging process – West France Evening Edition

Can we slow down aging? In 2022, British researchers published a study that showed that practicing regular dynamic walking helped keep our cells youthful for a longer period. Explanations.

Exercise is good for your health, like walking, but walking fast will be more beneficial. This is what scientists in the United Kingdom explain: brisk walking, called “dynamic” or “athletic”, can delay the aging process. These researchers University of Leicester He relied on genetic data from 405,981 Britons to reach this conclusion. They published their results on April 20, 2022 in review Communication biology.

The main lesson from the study: Regular brisk walking would allow a 56-year-old man to have arteries similar to those of a 40-year-old man, that is, sixteen years more!

Read also: Why is walking with poles good for your health?

Biological age

To assess organismal aging, researchers were interested in “biological age,” which is linked to genetics and, more precisely, to the length of telomeres. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes, which protect other sections (those containing our genes) from damage over time.

Dr. Paddy Dempsey, one of the scientists leading the study, summarizes the process this way: “Every time a cell divides, these telomeres shorten. To the point where they become so short that the cell cannot divide.”

This is called “iterative aging.” In other words, a cell that can no longer divide contributes to aging. Therefore, telomere length is a marker of biological age. “Regardless of date of birth” By someone.

Read also: 'I'm tired of being fat': His daily walking challenge inspires and gains new followers

The relationship between fast walking and biological age

Let's focus on the idea of ​​”fast” or “dynamic” walking. This is a fast step, so its speed is a little over 6 km/h, but it's not going at all.

The physical and psychological benefits of walking are well-known and documented, as the article published on the University of Leicester website points out, but this 2022 study is the first of its kind to compare genetic data with self-reported walking speeds, as well as with measurements of actual movement intensity made by activity trackers that… Worn by participants: “We used genetic data from participants to show that walking at a faster pace was more likely to lead to younger biological age, as measured by telomeres.” Professor Tom Yates, who participated in the study, confirms.

Taking into account genetic data that reveal biological age, this work thus provides “Stronger evidence of a causal relationship between faster walking pace and increased telomere length,” insists Dr Paddy Dempsey. Data were collected via physical activity tracking bracelets “It also emphasizes the more important role of the intensity of habitual activity (For example, walk faster) For telomere length, He adds.

Read also: Should you walk 4,000, 8,000, or 10,000 steps a day? This new study settles the controversy

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It's not too late to start

On the practical side, researchers suggest adopting walking for fitness to get to work or to the bus stop. In 2019, they proved that brisk or athletic walking “Just ten minutes a day increases life expectancy by up to twenty years compared to someone who walks normally or slowly.”

So, how can you stay young longer? Have you been practicing brisk walking since childhood? On this point Paddy Dempsey reassures: “Previous research suggests that although becoming more physically active early in life, that is, accumulating physical activity over a lifetime, is beneficial for overall health and disease risk, it is never too late to start and gain some health benefits.” In short, physical activity is good for your health. As long as you do it regularly.

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