Do you walk slow or fast? The answer may determine how fast your brain and body is aging.
Researchers in a study spanning 40 years, used a simple test of gait speed of 94 age 40+ subjects to determine the effects of aging. The study participants had physical and mental testing and measurements performed since the age of 3. This new measure of the aging process found that the slower walkers looked older and had smaller brains. The team was able to measure overall health in terms of muscle and spine strength, balance, lung function and eyesight.
Slow walking speed may also be linked to a higher risk of dementia.
In this new study, 1,000 people born in the 1970s were followed to the age of 45. The subjects had physical tests, brain function and scans. Results indicated that a slow walk is a sign of accelerated aging. 45 year old participants had a wide variation in gait speed. Lungs, teeth and immunes systems were tested and showed signs of accelerated aging in the slow moving folks. Their brains even looked older, and IQ points were lower 40 years later.
What Does This Mean About Your Lifestyle Choices?
You may want to check your walking speed at your current age and make some changes to your diet and exercise plan. If you want help with this, please arrange a visit to our office and we can work with you on a comprehensive plan. The younger you are, the better chances of preventing some of the signs of aging.
Study Publisher: Line J. H. Rasmussen, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, in Durham, NC