Now Sam’s a slow walker will she die earlier than the rest of you?

So many of my friends have been gleefully sharing the “good news for fast walkers” story that’s been making the rounds. Often they do so with a comment like “I might live to 120.”

Go you! And the thing is a few years ago, before my knee gave up on me I might have done the same.

One notable thing about the study is that speedy walking pace predicted a long life even for people who are significantly overweight. Walking speed was a better predictor of life length than weight.

Martha blogged about the study here.

As a former fast walker, now slow and cautious walker, I’m wondering what my pace means. Early death?

Not really.

As one commentator put it, “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.)”

Basically walking speed is a proxy for physical fitness and physical fitness predicts a long life. I had another group of friends who shared the story on social media with an aspirational slogan like “time to pick up the pace.”

The thing is mere fast walking won’t do it. But fast walking that makes you fitter will. You can also get fit in other ways, swimming and biking for instance. Fast wheeling, if you’re using a wheelchair for getting around, will do it too.

Don’t glorify fast walking for fast walking’s sake. And please don’t plow down me and the other cautious plodders. We’re walking too even if we’re not speedy about it. No slow shaming please.

2 thoughts on “Now Sam’s a slow walker will she die earlier than the rest of you?

  1. I often gauge how I am tracking health wise by how fast, or not, I am walking. A couple of weeks back in the midst of a big fatigue fog I was dwardling, everywhere, I had no energy for regular walking speed. Then some test results came back and I had an iron deficiency. 3 weeks in on my good quality iron supplements and I am back at my normal walking pace. I notice this effect when my thyroid meds aren’t right either.

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