NEWS: Blue Zones Study Reveals the Various Healthy Aging Benefits of Walking
Walking boasts a series of healthy aging benefits for older adults, according to this 2023 GeroScience study. Its main benefits include reducing the risk of various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Additionally, it claims that walking can lead to improvements in sleep, mental well-being, and longevity. Several other studies support the claims made in this study as well, which all build upon the theory that walking promotes a longer life expectancy.
This study further suggests that a brisk 30-minute walk per day decreases the likelihood of multiple age-associated diseases and that walking also has potential anti-aging effects. For instance, it suggests that walking can improve one’s mood, sleep quality, and lower the risk of bone fractures. Residents of the blue zones were spotlighted in this study, as their highly active lifestyles (paired with healthy eating habits) are the reason why these regions are heavily populated with centenarians who often live past the age of 100. The study noted several factors that contribute to their longevity, including social connectedness, diet, and physical activity.Individuals who live in the blue zones can enjoy longevity partly due to their consistent walking and movement habits. Click To Tweet
Individuals who live in the blue zones can enjoy longevity partly due to their consistent walking and movement habits. For many, walking is included in their daily lives and routines. Residents complete a lot of their daily agendas on foot, whether that’s walking to work or handling daily errands. In the blue zones region of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, locals are accustomed to walking to see loved ones and neighbors. Ikarian centenarians tend to live in the island’s highlands and exercise mindlessly just by gardening, walking to see their neighbors, or doing their own yard work.
Walking the road to longevity
As you can see, a daily walking regimen can have hugely positive effects on aging and your overall health—especially in the long run. Even if you have a busy schedule, you can maximize all moments of movement to squeeze “getting your steps in,” including while gardening, making grocery runs, and chasing after the little ones in your family. If you’d prefer not to walk alone, consider starting or joining a walking moai in your local area or starting your own walking group.
Johnaé De Felicis is a health writer and passionate wellpreneur. Her mission in life is to inspire others to lead happy, healthy, and wholesome lives, and she covers a variety of topics that are centered around this goal. Johnaé’s work also appears in Healthline and Well+Good.