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Study reveals benefits of vigorous
walking, cuts aging process
walking for about an hour a day five times a week can cut years off the
biological aging process of people 64 years and older, according to
research published earlier this month in the British Journal of Sports
The study of patients 64 years and older showed that a vigorous walking
regimen boosts maximal oxygen intake by about 25 percent within three
months, which effectively decreases biological age by about 12 years,
Roy Shephard, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, said in his
report posted online.
This could also extend a patient’s functional independence, which
declines when optimal oxygen intake drops below 18 mL/kg/min for men
and 15 mL/kg/min for women during the aging process.
Furthermore, the benefits of aerobic exercise increase the longer it is
performed, researchers said, explaining that a program of endurance
training could offset the expected loss of 5 mL/kg/min in maximal
oxygen intake per decade, which equates to about 10 years of biological
Researchers reviewed a number studies that revealed a trend toward
greater gains in aerobic fitness with a longer training regimen. For
example, average gains were nearly 13 percent in an eight- to 10-week
program; more than 14 percent in a 12- to 18-week program, and nearly
17 percent with 24 to 52 weeks of training.
Those studies that used a high-intensity regimen reached the gains of
25 percent, which equals an increase in maximal oxygen intake of 6
mL/kg/min or a decrease of about 12 years of biological age.
Shephard noted that aerobic fitness may indirectly affect other
conditions likely to diminish functional capacity, including obesity,
diabetes, hypertension, myo-cardial infarction, stroke, some forms of
cancer, and osteoporosis. Exercise also hastens recovery from injuries
and any additional muscle power may prevent falls, he added.
Source: MedPage Today
Friday, April 25, 2008
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