We Baby Boomers – those of us born between 1946 and 1964 – are an active generation. We work hard and play hard, as the saying goes.
But even the youngest Boomers are now in their mid-40’s. More and more of them are turning to their doctors for advice on how to hold on to their active lifestyle.
One of my own first suggestions is so simple; some people find it hard to believe. So today, I’d like to share this powerful – and easy – anti-aging secret. It’s a subject I’ve written about before: walking.
For one thing, walking is great for your brain.
One study found walking about 10 – 11 blocks a day (roughly ¾ of a mile) appears to help your body maintain brain volume.1 Brain shrinkage – which usually happens with age – is linked to memory and thinking problems. So walking a few blocks a day could help you stay sharper for years longer.
Another study looked at people with memory problems. Researchers divided them into two groups. One group walked for 50 minutes 3 times a week, or participated in similar exercise. The second group took part in educational activities, but not exercise.
The walking group showed memory improvements. But the inactive group’s memories got worse during the study.2
Two studies just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine echo these findings. Both studies found that staying active helped keep people’s minds sharper.3,4
Of course, our minds aren’t the only thing affected by age. Many people find that joint problems start cropping up. And walking can help you there, too.
Australian scientists gave glucosamine to people with hip or knee problems for 6 weeks. The glucosamine appeared to help.
But then, over 6 weeks, they worked the volunteers up to walking about 30 minutes a day. The walking promoted more relief and better joint function than glucosamine alone.
And when the volunteers began walking even more, they improved more.5 In other words; walking can actually help you overcome joint pain… just by using the joints.
Here’s another anti-aging secret of walking…
Africa’s Masai tribesmen eat a diet high in saturated animal fat. That’s like rolling out the welcome mat for heart trouble. But heart problems are practically unknown among the Masai.
Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute think they’ve figured out the secret. Its walking.6
The Masai walk a lot. They burn enough calories to cover 12 miles a day. But you don’t have to walk anywhere near that far to boost your heart health.
A new review of studies in the journal Circulation says walking about 20 minutes a day cuts heart risk by 14%. But the researchers discovered walking even less still cuts your risk of heart problems.7
Good for your brain… good for your bones… good for your heart. That’s great. But there’s even more good news. Because walking about 20 minutes a day may boost your health in even more ways.
A recent review looked at 22 studies with a total of nearly 1 million participants. After sifting through all the data, the authors found that you don’t have to work out like a fiend to stay healthy.
Just 20 minutes a day of “non-vigorous” activity – like walking – cut participants’ risk of death from all causes by 19%. How’s that for an anti-aging benefit?
Of course, you’ll normally see even greater benefits by being more active. But you can fight some of the most devastating effects of aging by walking a mere 20 minutes a day. It’s quick, it’s easy, and – as you’ve seen – the payoff is huge.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Erickson, K.I., et al, “Physical activity predicts gray matter volume in late adulthood,” Neurology. Oct 19, 2010;75(16):1415-1422.
2 Lautenschlager, N.T., et al, “Effect of Physical Activity on Cognitive Function in Older Adults at Risk for Alzheimer Disease,” JAMA. 2008;300(9):1027-1037.
3 Middleton, L.E., et al, “Activity Energy Expenditure and Incident Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults,” Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(14):1251-1257.
4 Vercambre, M.-N., et al, “Physical Activity and Cognition in Women With Vascular Conditions,” Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(14):1244-1250.
5 Ng, N., et al, “Efficacy of a progressive walking program and glucosamine sulphate supplementation on osteoarthritic symptoms of the hip and knee: a feasibility trial,” Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010;12:R25.
6 Mbalilaki, J.A., “Daily energy expenditure and cardiovascular risk in Masai, rural and urban Bantu Tanzanians,” Br J Sports Med 2010;44:121-126.
7 Sattelmair, J., et al, “Dose Response Between Physical Activity and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease,” CIRCULATIONAHA.110.010710. Published online before print August 1, 2011.
8 Woodcock, J., et al, “Non-vigorous physical activity and all-cause mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies,” Int. J. Epidemiol. 2011;40(1):121-138.