When you visit a doctor there are few measures the doctors make in order to predict your current health status like measuring blood pressure and checking BMI. As per the researchers, now physicians should add one more thing to their list that is the speed of your walking.
Including regular brisk walking in your daily life is one of the most important things as it helps the person to maintain a healthy weight, manage serious health complications like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, enhances your mood, escapes you from depression and what not.
“A really strong predictor of mortality is gait speed,” said Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, an assistant professor of research in the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy.
In accordance with the researchers, the faster you walk the better your health conditions are. As per the journal of JAMA, the cardiologists are using this mean of way to identify the patients who might face difficulties in their recovery process from the surgery.
There are some evidences which also shows that this can be also used as a tip by doctors for determining serious health issues like cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairments.
Though physicians are not using this tip currently but the researchers like Dieli-Conwright is making use of this marker for carrying out her research. She is working to know how exercise can affect the lives of breast cancer survivors, her team is making a record of gait speed as well to further make the study clear and evident.
“The idea is the more sick somebody becomes—whether it’s from cancer treatment or another disease condition—they lose strength and they lose the ability to move,” she said. “Imagine if someone didn’t exercise at all. They’re going to be impacted more by chemotherapy that keeps them in the bed.”
Her research totally disagrees with the point that the person should increase their runtime if they are observing a low gait speed. “It’s not just by a little—it’s going from being able to walk to go to the restroom to barely being able to get out of bed,” she said, in the case of cancer patients.
How Fast you Walk and your Biological Age
As per the JAMA paper, the physicians can make use of gait speed to predict the person’s expected biological age which can be in some cases older or younger than the chronological age of the patient.
The lesson of the studies is definitely not to make you walk faster, there is still no clear evidence that can support the point, increasing gait speed improves your health. However, it is very important to keep in check your current physical activity and know how physically active you are.
In the study the people who walked fast developed health issues much slower than the ones who were walking at a slow pace, this showed better health improvements in many of the patients. If your gait speed drops suddenly then you should consult your doctor as it might be a signal for an underlying health condition.
In a nutshell, the study highlights the importance of including walking in the daily regime despite what your age is Dieli-Conwright said. She explains it by saying: “Something as simple as a walking program can be conducive to maintain overall health.”