Walk your way to long life

There is yet another reason to add walking to your fitness toolbox.

Large pink birds walk together in various landscapes

A recently released UK study concluded brisk female walkers can as add as many as 15 to 20 years to their lives compared to slow walkers.

More importantly, the researchers found the benefits of fast walking extended across all BMI levels. The lead researcher told media that their research suggests physical activity is a better marker of life expectancy than BMI.

That’s good news for anyone whose been told to lose weight because of their BMI. In fact, in the early teens of this century, my media feed was filled with articles like this one on how BMI was used to track schoolchildren’s health.

Most of us know already how limited this marker is for measuring health, so it’s good news to have it confirmed with research. Now that we know walking, and briskly at that, is definitely good for you, how to make it happen?

I’ve been assessing my activity levels as this winter I noticed my step count had dropped significantly with the poor weather. I am fortunate that I am able to walk when my hip cooperates. I made a list of the ways I could add steps to my day:

  • When I take my car, I make sure I park at the furthest end of the lot so I can take more steps.
  • I try to take the stairs when I visit clients, assuming there aren’t security provisions preventing me from using them. Most places only have one flight, but every step helps!
  • For buildings with higher levels, I’m working on adding flights. I can now do four flights (a set of stairs between landings) at a steady pace before having to stop.
  • As I slowly return to swimming, I add loops in the therapy pool going against the current.
  • I’m researching shops close to my house so I can walk for necessities instead of taking the car.

What are the ways you add extra steps to your day?

MarthaFitat55 lives in St. John’s where the hills are many and the inclines steep.

4 thoughts on “Walk your way to long life

  1. The study concludes that the brisk walkers were already more fit to begin with, which is why they have a greater life expectancy. (In other news, water is wet.)

    Also I’m glad that this is yet one more study that puts a nail in the coffin of BMI, because BMI is basically a crock. If you hoovered every last ounce of fat off my body, I’d still have a so-called “healthy” BMI.

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