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Walking as an Anti Aging Exercise

The Benefits of Walking for Healthy Aging


Updated May 08, 2009

Woman Walking in the Snow

Walk in any weather.

Caroline Woodham / Getty Images
Walking could be a great anti aging exercise. Just taking a simple walk has been shown to improve aging in people 60 and older and trigger some anti aging responses.

Walking As An Anti Aging Exercise

Researchers asked 26 people, all aged 60 or older to participate in a study. Half the participants were placed in a group that attended nutritional education classes (this was the control group) while the other half were placed in a walking group. The walking group, after 4 months, showed improvements in measure of their physical fitness and disability risk.

How Much Walking Should I Do For Anti Aging?

That’s a really good question. In this study, the walking group met three times a week. They started out slowly, walking only 10 or minutes the first time. Over the four months, they built up to walking 40 minutes each time.

How Much Did Walking Help Aging?

All the study participants were given tests before and after the study to assess their physical fitness. These tests included their lung capacity and how well they could perform simple daily tasks. At the beginning of the study the walking group was similar to the nutritional education group. By the end of the study, there were differences:
  • The walkers’ aerobic capacity increased 19% (it declined by 9% for the non-walkers.
  • The walkers’ physical function score increased by 25% while the non-walkers decreased by 8.3%.
  • The disability risk (a measure of the probability that a person would have a disability) decreased by 41%.

So Get Walking for Anti Aging

So is walking the perfect anti aging exercise? Well, in my opinion, the best exercise is the one that you do. For most people walking is accessible enough and often includes a social element (if you walk with a buddy) than people are successful at establishing a walking routine. For anti aging, this is a great place to start. Not only do walkers benefits from the physical exercise in walking, they also get out in the sun (which helps prevent vitamin D deficiency). You can get started walking with this excellent course on walking.


Moore-Harrison TL, Speer EM, Johnson FT, Cress ME. The effects of aerobic training and nutrition education on functional performance in low socioeconomic older adults. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2008;31(1):18-23.

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