Try this walking hack to boost longevity by 50 percent

So, you’re a slow walker…

People always pass you on the sidewalk. You’re constantly at the back of the pack when you’re walking with friends. And you see the same person lap you several times on the track at the gym.

No big deal, right? As long as you’re walking and getting exercise, it doesn’t matter how fast you go.

Not quite.

Sure, any exercise (even if it’s slow) is better than no exercise. But if you picked up the pace just a bit, you could reap some serious benefits… like a lifespan that would put Methuselah to shame.

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Speed walking is the best longevity hack

A recent study from researchers at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health, the University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Limerick and the University of Ulster found that fast walkers live longer.

Researchers looked at walking pace data from 11 population-based surveys in England and Scotland between 1994 and 2008. They compared this data to mortality records, and here’s what they found…

People who kept up a brisk walking pace were 24 percent less likely to die from any cause. They were also 21 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. But that’s not the best part…

The results were even more impressive for fast walkers over 60. People over 60 who kept an average walking speed slashed their risk of all-cause mortality by 46 percent and fast walkers slashed it by 53 percent.

Wow! Does this mean adding some pep to your step could help you live a longer life? It just might.

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Are you a fast or slow walker?

If you’re wondering whether you’re a fast or slow walker, there are a few ways to tell…

First, you can measure how far you get in a half-hour or hour walk. Walking about three to four miles per hour is considered a fast walking pace. So, set a timer and a mile tracker and head out on the trail.

Walk for at least 30 minutes. Then see how far you made it. If you walked for 30 minutes rather than an hour, multiply your distance by two to see if you hit the three to four miles per hour mark.

If you don’t feel like getting that precise, you can measure your walking speed the old-fashioned way…

Pay attention to whether the speed you’re maintaining makes you feel slightly out of breath and/or sweaty. If it does, there’s a good chance you’re keeping up a quick walking pace. There’s also a good chance you’re setting yourself up for a longer life.

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  1. Walking faster could make you live longer: research — MedicalXpress
  2. Stamatakis, et al. “Self-rated walking pace and all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: individual participant pooled analysis of 50 225 walkers from 11 population British cohorts.” — British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2018.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and