[fitness friday] Can running really make you younger?


written by john c ashworth

New research shows us that running could make you younger. Walking is great exercise, and often associated with a reduced rate of obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and a longer lifespan in older people, but a more vigorous run can help you maintain your prowess as you age.

Now, quickly, for those of you who can't run that much any more like me, I have a theory and a solution for you too so stay tuned to this post. Don't tune it out yet.

Your ability to walk, tends to decline with age. Over time, slowly, when no one is looking and you are not paying attention you lose a step or two and then more. The result over time is that you can no longer keep the same kind of pace you once boasted. This general decline in the economy of your walking is a marker for ageing. By economy of walking, I mean how far and how fast you can walk at any given time in your life. Because what typically happens as you age, is that for each step you take, more energy is expended, and as a result you are a slower and less efficient walker.

In a recent study, researchers placed 30 men and women in their late 60s and early 70s into one of two groups. One group walked for 30 minutes or more three times per week; while the second group ran for 30 minutes three times per week.

When the training period was over, subjects' biomechanical walking ability was measured on a laboratory treadmill. In addition, researchers also measured oxygen consumption during this test.

Interestingly, the running group showed a significant improvment in their walking ability. Actually, it improved so much, that it was comparable to the ability of a typical sedentary college student.

More intriguing was that none of this improvement seemed to come from an improvement in their actual gait (walking) patterns. Instead, the improvements seemed to come from a direct improvement in their overall aerobic fitness. This improvement in fitness is created by an increasing number of mitochondria at the celluluar level of the body. The mitochondria portion of the cell is designed to carry oxygen.

Hence, the good news is that any level of physical activity that is more intense, like the 7-minute workout Leigh and I showed you last time I was on NBC15, will in fact improve the number of your mitochondria, and put that old college step back in to your day!


This article was inspired by a New York Times article on the same subject, which you can find by clicking here.

appeared that directly as a result of the runners significantly imrpoved fitness levels,

About the Author
John Ashworth is an empathetic sales leader with an incredibly diverse background as a salesman, business consultant, marketing maniac, writer, Dad and full time Bohemian Athlete. aka Johnny Renaissance.

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