Fast Walkers Live Longer


I read recently that on the evening of Thanksgiving and the evening of Christmas day, more people in the United States are out walking than at any other time of the year. Hm-mm, I thought the tryptophan from the turkey dinner glued everyone to their sofas?

In the same vein, a new study shows that people who have a naturally fast walk live significantly longer than the slowest walkers. People who live in New York City apparently benefit the most from their fast walking habits. Supposedly this study was adjusted for age, illness, sex, weight, etc. That makes me trust the results more since my first thought was….. Of course they do, the slowest walkers are already unhealthy, overweight or depressed.

I am a fast walker. I have often been told to slow down as it is not healthy to rush everywhere. Now I have a quick, scientifically supported, answer for all the slow pokes!

Enjoy your brisk after dinner walks this holiday season. Maybe even try to pick up the pace a notch in the coming year!

Merry Christmas!

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Will Sig
1 offendedblogger

You know, for years I loaded up on turkey this time of year in an attempt to get that “tryptophan buzz” I’d always heard about.

Now lately, however, all the so-called experts in the media have been debunking that myth, and apparently tryptophan isn’t what makes you sleepy…it is gorging on too much food that does it!! They say there is no tryptophan buzz at all!!

I don’t buy it. I believe this is just another well-concerted left-wing attack on our hallowed holiday traditions. 😛

Merry Christmas!!


2 pelf

I actually prefer to walk slowly because I am quite an observer. I look around whenever I am walking, and I very often stop to see whatever catches my fancy.

I have always had the impression that “it is not healthy to have to walk quickly/rush” because I believe that these are times when one slows down (after through the whole day at work) 😀


3 Will

I saw that news story also, Chelle. I don’t believe it for a second. I know I always get sleepy after turkey dinner. And as for overeating or gorging, well not me that’s for sure… well…. maybe once in a while… like at Thanksgiving etc. 😉 But I still think it is the tryptophan!

And Pelf – I know what you mean. Ironically, I tend to hike a bit slower than some for that very reason. I think the study looked at natural habit, though. People who walked fast when at the mall, going to lunch, etc. Walked fast in everyday life. That’s me for sure!



4 Bob

Hi Will hope you had a great Christmas, I have always been a fast walker, the mall I work at is 1km from one end to the other, and I have to get from point a to point b in the shortest time possible.


5 Joanna Young

Hi Will, saying hello back 🙂

I think I’m a naturally slow-ish walker partly because I like to look about me. This has advantages, especially as it gives me a lot of inspiration for writing. And as Pelf says there have been studies about the pace of walking in cities getting faster linked to concerns about effects of speeded up life on people’s health and well-being…

I guess it depends what you’re walking for. To get fitter I would happily acknowledge I need to speed up a bit!



6 Brian

I am a very, very fast walker. It has more to do with long legs I think.


7 Will

Hi Brian! I saw that they accounted for that somehow. The length of legs was taken into account when deciding who was walking fast. I guess it was individually determined and not just on mph. Funny how I am getting a picture in my memory right now of my kids when they were small struggling to keep up on hikes. They were VERY fast walkers back then!

I like your list of blogs on your site. Another poet, I see. It is interesting that I recently have a bunch of commentators who write poetry. I wrote a little when I was in college and used to read quite a bit, but it has been many years since I even gave it a real thought. Now I am enjoying reading what has been linked here. Thanks!



8 Will

Hi Bob! I did and hope you all did too. I have been spending a lot of time away from the computer which is nice in some ways. I actually have a mildly interesting story about a cross country ski outing yesterday in the back country in a storm, a cold storm. (Although maybe not too cold by the standards of northern neighbors like you and Anna. Hopefully a few of the pictures I took came out and I can make the time to get a post up later today.



9 Will

Hi Joanna – The study looked at New Yorkers specifically because of the long standing belief that their rushing around was adversely affecting their health. They actually found the opposite. The biggest rushers were the healthiest. Sort of goes against common sense, but who knows?

The fastest walker I know is an older lady who is not more than average height. Nobody can keep up with her on hikes. Compared to some of us, she does miss some things along the way because of her speed, but she is still probably above average in her observance. She is also one of the most in shape people I know for her age and that might be one of the contributing factors. As you say, for most people there is a difference between walking for fitness and everyday walking. Because fast walkers are essentially getting their exercise every time they go out, I guess they should be healthier.

On the other hand, years ago I had a co-worker who was one of the most happy people I ever met. She was also an agonizingly slow walker when we went anywhere!



10 Claire

Well when I am out hiking its always speedy 80 year olds that stride past me as I am out of breath. So fast walking is working for them 🙂


11 Will

I wonder if those 80 year olds are so speedy because they have good genes, of if they are speedy at 80 because they were speedy at 70, and at 60, and at 50, etc. I bet the latter!


12 Mitch at Money News

I think fast walkers can move out of the way of things better, and thus live longer. =)


13 Will

Good one! 🙂


14 Anna

Will, I love to say that me and Canada Goose (the photo made me laugh, because I read the title first), are fast walkers too. As a matter of fact, I actually like to walk everywhere, including nature walk, because that gives me the most, meaning no stress. I walk about 3 km a day probably 4-5 days a week before going to bed. Now especially during cold, the body needs to generate more heat, so the walks during the winter actually are burning me more calories. Great reminder Will. Thanks, Anna 🙂


15 Lynda Lehmann

That’s nice to know, Will. I try to walk on the steep hills of my neighborhood every day, and I DO walk fast! For some reason, it feels like more effort to go slowly!

I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I think it’s why I have very high HDL. Walking is when I count my blessings and do a lot of attitude adjustment, as well, so it’s a very necessary part of my life.

Thanks for the info on fast-walking! I’m glad Anna introduced us to your blog!


16 Will

Welcome Linda! I like the photos in your December 19 post. Lots of snow like we have here, but in a hardwood forest instead of all the fir, pine and spruce we have.

I’m interested to know what is considered a high HDL. What is yours? I have been told mine is a good ratio compared to LDL, but have recently heard that it could be higher. Mine was HDL 46, LDL 87.



17 Lynda Lehmann

I would have to find my old records, Will, to tell you that. And I think labs use different scales and measures in different places. All I can tell you is that my HDL was actually so high, it was off the scale. That was about a year ago. I hope it’s still at such a good ratio.

I think that what’s important for us is to have exercise be a significant part of our lives, over a long period of time.

I’m glad you enjoyed my photos! I love to look at the snow–in photos!


18 Technology Slice

I’m a quick walker too. Walking slowly just annoys me too much.


19 Chamonix

So now when my friends whine about me walking too fast and being in a rush I can tell them otherwise.


20 Will

That’s right! Walk and hike fast and as often as you can.


21 Prashant Kumar Jaiswal

I am a natural fast-walker, with an average speed of walking of about 10 km/hr and my peak speed being 12km/hr. My height is 175 cm (5’9″).
I love walking at super-human speed, as it keeps me fit and active as well as lead me to reach anywhere as quickly as possible.

Walking at a high speed has many advantages.
According to me–
[1].Blood-circulation is maintained in a
normal range.
[2].Pulmonary functions are at normal
[3].Body-muscles remain in shape and the
body looks slim/athletic.
[4].It sometimes becomes one’s identity.
[5].You always reach at your destination
earlier than your colleagues/crowd
walking together with you.

I have even created a community for the ‘Fast Walkers’ on the Orkut to aggregate all the people having this habitual activity.

Prashant K.J.
New Delhi


22 Medical Oddities

I walk pretty slow actually, because I’m never in a hurry. I love to observe things and see what’s going on instead of whizzing by everything.

Medical Odditiess last blog post..Liberty Medical Supplies


23 Keith

I also enjoy walking fast, mostly out of habit, trying to get there in a hurry. There is the benefit of deep breathing when walking faster, as well as the additional muscular and metabolic benefits.


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