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Walk This Way: The Faster You Walk, The Healthier You Are

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The results showed that “73 percent of the ‘slow’ walkers who had heart surgery were afterward sent to an institutional care facility, compared with 17 percent of the ‘fast’ walkers.”

Furthermore, the study found that 60 percent of slow walkers who had a colorectal operation also needed institutional care after surgery, compared with just 5 percent of the fast group.

And since more than half of all surgeries in the United States are performed on the elderly, doctors need to adjust their approach.

"The bottom line is that we can no longer assess 80-year-olds in the same way as 25-year-olds," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Wu, chief surgical resident at Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

So while any type of walking is good for your health, the next time you go for a stroll around the block, consider revving up your speed and consulting a physician to get a better sense of your physiological age, not your chronological age.


Slower Walking Speed Linked to Surgical Risks in Elderly. HealthDay. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

Exercise and frailty in older adults. NCPAD. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. http://www.ncpad.org/yourwrites/fact_sheet.php?sheet=891

Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health. MayoClinic. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

Bailey Mosier is a freelance journalist living in Orlando, Florida. She received a Masters of Journalism from Arizona State University, played D-I golf, has been editor of a Scottsdale-based golf magazine and currently contributes to GolfChannel.com. She aims to live an active, healthy lifestyle full of sunshine and smiles.

Reviewed October 27, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.