Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Walk your way to a slim, youthful body

What happens with most people

Walking or other light exercise - the research


What happens with most people

Most people tend to gain weight as they get older. The good news is that it is not inevitable. There is no physiological reason why you should gain weight as you get older. What happens is that most people tend to do less exercise as the years go by, whilst continuing to eat the same number of calories.

There are several other reasons that weight-gain occurs over the years, and in Grow Youthful I discuss how many people get into a downward spiral that gets more and more difficult to climb out of.

Walking or other light exercise - the research

Here's one of the most important things you can do to keep or reclaim a youthful body - walk 2 to 4 hours a week (that's as little as 30-40 minutes every other day). In a 15-year study (1) researchers found that people who walked regularly gained less weight during the study period than those who didn't walk.

The results were great for both men and women, although weight benefit was strongest for overweight women. The heaviest women in the study benefited by about half a kilo (1 pound) per year for every additional 30-minute walk taken each week

Another study (2) published in October 2011 tracked over 400,000 people for more than 8 years and found that just 15 minutes of walking (or other light activity) each day gives you an extra three years of life expectancy, and reduces your risk of dying by 14%. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise further reduced all-cause mortality by another 4%. On the other hand, people who did no exercise had a 17% higher chance of dying.

The benefits of light exercise were applicable to all age groups and both sexes, and to those with cardiovascular disease risks.

When it comes to walking, the benefits of a regular 30 or 60 minutes most days are even better. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 30 minutes of physical activity each day. In my ebook Grow Youthful, I recommend half to one hour of pleasant walking most days to enjoy a longer life in a more attractive and functional body.

A study of 2,110 adults over 11 years that was published in September 2021 found that those who walked more than 7,000 steps per day had a 50% to 70% lower risk of mortality than those who walked less than 7,000 steps per day. (4)

However, a 2021 study (8) confirmed that insulin is the key variable to control if you are trying to lose weight. Most people suffer from insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), where insulin levels are too high. Remember that insulin is the key fat storage hormone. If insulin is too high you will store fat, and it is almost impossible to lose it.

After correcting your diet, walking is the best exercise to lose weight. After 30 minutes of walking, your body starts to burn fat rather than stored sugar. To assist with weight loss, walk for an hour or two each day, at a fast pace. Choose to use the stairs, keep moving.

I thoroughly recommend walking as one of the best exercises you can do. Walking is one of the keys to good health and a long life. The proven benefits of regular walking include:

A large study published in October 2019 (3) showed that your walking speed at the age of 45 is a good predictor of how you will age. Mid-life gait speed correlates with most biomarkers in old age, and even brain size.


1. Gordon-Larsen, P. et al. Fifteen-year longitudinal trends in walking patterns and their impact on weight change. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2009 Jan;89(1):19-26

2. Chi Pang Wen, Jackson Pui Man Wai, Min Kuang Tsai, Yi Chen Yang, Ting Yuan David Cheng, Meng-Chih Lee, Hui Ting Chan, Chwen Keng Tsao, Shan Pou Tsai, Xifeng Wu. Minimum amount of physical activity for reduced mortality and extended life expectancy: a prospective cohort study. The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9798, Pages 1244 - 1253, 1 October 2011.

3. Line Jee Hartmann Rasmussen, Avshalom Caspi, Antony Ambler, Jonathan M. Broadbent, Harvey J. Cohen, Tracy d'Arbeloff, Maxwell Elliott, Robert J. Hancox, HonaLee Harrington, Sean Hogan, Renate Houts, David Ireland, Annchen R. Knodt, Kim Meredith-Jones, Miriam C. Morey, Lynda Morrison, Richie Poulton, Sandhya Ramrakha, Leah Richmond-Rakerd, Maria L. Sison, Kate Sneddon, W. Murray Thomson, Ahmad R. Hariri, Terrie E. Moffitt. Association of Neurocognitive and Physical Function With Gait Speed in Midlife. 11 October 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(10):e1913123. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.13123.

4. Amanda E Paluch, Kelley Pettee Gabriel, Janet E Fulton, Cora E Lewis, Pamela J Schreiner, Barbara Sternfeld, Stephen Sidney, Juned Siddique, Kara M Whitaker, Mercedes R. Carnethon. Steps per Day and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged Adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study. JAMA Netw Open. 3 September 2021. 4(9):e2124516. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24516.

5. Matthieu Clauss, Philippe Gerard, Alexis Mosca, Marion Leclerc. Interplay Between Exercise and Gut Microbiome in the Context of Human Health and Performance. Front. Nutr., 10 June 2021. Sec. Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Volume 8, 2021.

6. Andrew W Gardner, Polly S Montgomery, Yan D Zhao, Federico Silva-Palacios, Zoltan Ungvari, Anna Csiszar, William E Sonntag. Association between daily walking and antioxidant capacity in patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease. Journal of Vascular Surgery, Volume 65, Issue 6, 2017, Pages 1762-1768, ISSN 0741-5214.

7. Nieman DC, Henson DA, Austin MD, Brown VA. Immune response to a 30-minute walk. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Jan;37(1):57-62. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000149808.38194.21. PMID: 15632669.

8. Steele J, Plotkin D, Van Every D, Rosa A, Zambrano H, Mendelovits B, Carrasquillo-Mercado M, Grgic J, Schoenfeld BJ. Slow and Steady, or Hard and Fast? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Comparing Body Composition Changes between Interval Training and Moderate Intensity Continuous Training. Sports (Basel). 2021 Nov 18;9(11):155. doi: 10.3390/sports9110155. PMID: 34822354; PMCID: PMC8619923.