walking will be easy for you in your 80s 

How to ensure that walking will be easy for you in your 80s 

Fitness, ,

We recently published hints about how to walk healthier, with better posture, foot position and so forth. This post had a tremendous response. As other forms of exercise are limited during the pandemic, many people have turned to walking as their principle exercise. 

Do you want to be able to walk—easily—when you are in your 70s, 80s and beyond? Today we share the results from a study just released in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity that will help you accomplish that!

2014 walking-running research

This study from 2014 involved healthy older (65 or over) walkers and runners, who were put into a treadmill lab. All the participants were fitted with headgear that measured their oxygen utilization during exercise. They found that the walkers who also at least occasionally ran were more efficient walkers. 

This means that the older runners found walking relatively easy. They used about the same amount of oxygen for walking as younger people used. The participants who never really exerted themselves in running activities used 7 to 10% more oxygen for walking compared to the walkers who also sometimes ran. 

2020 walking-cycling research

This newer study, from university researchers in California and Colorado (USA), studied walkers vs. walkers who also sometimes cycled. Again, the results showed that those who at least sometimes cycled were able to walk with as much efficiency as much younger people. The people who only walked, without any more strenuous exercise, were up to 17% less efficient walkers, considering their oxygen utilization. 


These studies show that if you want to walk with less exertion (use less oxygen per step), occasionally add a more vigorous activity to your walking routine, such as running or cycling. Then, as you get older, you will be able to walk better, with less fatigue 

Why occasional exertion is good

The researchers believe that at least occasional bursts of more vigorous exercise—that makes you sweat or breathe heavily—strengthens the mitochondria in your muscle cells. The mitochondria are micro structures that act as little energy factories, and the stronger they are, the better your muscles work. 

If you can’t run or cycle

You probably don’t have to actually run or cycle to stress and strengthen your mitochondria. If you can’t or don’t like to run, or don’t have a bicycle, try to at least, during your walks, walk quickly for a few minutes every 10 or 15 minutes of walking. Walk up some hills if you can. These sorts of energy bursts act like mini-HIIT exercises, which we know are great for strengthening your cardiovascular system. 

But if, for whatever reason, you can’t add an exertion activity to your routine, don’t worry. If you only walk for at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace, at least 3 to 5 times a week, you are doing better than most people. But for extra credit, and extra assurance you will be able to walk well into your 90s, try to break a sweat sometimes! 

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.ProcuraMed.com.

See also in ProcuraMed:

You can walk in a healthier way—here is how

How to deal with COVID burnout

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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This post is related to the specialties Cardiology, Sports Medicine. Below is a list of some doctors related to these specialties.