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A brisk walk can slow down the aging

 A brisk walk can slow down the aging

According to a British study of 400,000 people, if we do it, we can keep our cells younger for longer.

Who has never dreamed of finding the secret of youth? Scientists may have found a clue: fast walking.

This is a physical activity, different from running, that involves moving forward with one foot on top of the other at a speed of more than 6 km per hour. In a study published last Wednesday in the journal Communications Biology, researchers from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom estimate that this sport would give a 56-year-old person a biological age (the age of the arteries) 16 years younger, that is, a new "square"!

A brisk walk can slow down the aging

To reach this surprising conclusion, the researchers examined the genetic data of 405,981 Britons. This is particularly true for the length of telomeres in white blood cells. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes and protect the other parts of the chromosome that contain genes from time-related damage. As cells divide, telomeres get shorter and shorter until the cells can no longer reproduce. The accumulation of senescent cells in the body is thought to contribute to aging and related diseases. The length of telomeres is therefore an indicator of biological age!

Choose a normal gait rather than a slow one

Until now, walking speed was thought to be a good indicator of health. But for the first time, a study has shown a clear causal relationship between a person's walking pace and the telomere length of white blood cells, and thus their aging. However, it did not specify how regularly this improvement would be achieved. "The intensity with which one walks regularly may be important for health, regardless of the total amount one walks," says Paddy Dempsey, lead author of the study.

The researcher suggests walking briskly, such as to the bus stop on the way to work. This would undoubtedly make onlookers look away. For those who are afraid of being watched, there is hope: a normal rather than slow walking pattern would also have an effect. Fast walking is more than four miles per hour (6.4 km/h), and slow walking is less than three miles per hour (4.8 km/h). The intermediate walk is a transition point.

In 2019, researchers from the University of Leicester had already shown that just ten minutes of walking a day was associated with longer life expectancy. They also stated that the life expectancy of fast walkers was 20 years longer than that of slow walkers. To stay young longer, you have to.... start young? 

Paddy Dempsey states, "Previous research suggests that while increased physical activity at a young age is good for overall health and disease risk, it is never too late to start and reap several health benefits.


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