A QUICK STEP

Our walk can tell a lot about us. For if we slow down is a sign that we are rapidly moving towards old age (biologically if not by birth). But there is the possibility, however, to leap back. Because it is still in our hands and in the lifestyle change.

Not imported what your chronological age, but when your biological age begins to report a progressive aging better run for cover.

It could be the so-called “fragility syndrome” and one of the most obvious signs that accompanies it is a slowing down of gait.

“The speed at which we walk is not just a mechanical parameter, but a signal that helps to understand the overall health status,” says Dr. Matteo Cesari Institut du vieillissement, University of Toulouse in France. Actively engaged in a pilot project for the prevention of “fragile” elderly, Caesars has presented the results of its activity to Longeva conference held in Milan. “The pace is indicative of biological and behavioral conditions that can be cured or corrected. Atherosclerosis, inflammation, cognitive impairment may result in steps become increasingly slow and difficult. To keep this under control gait (not less than 1 meter per second) is also the key to guide us towards behaviors that may avert the risk of a premature aging “.

“It is well established that the same species, the fastest animals are also those who live longer,” says Cesari. “A US study of 30,000 people showed that life expectancy can be accurately predicted on the basis of gender, age and gait. So there is a direct relationship between the speed at which we walk and quality of life. “

We all know that diseases affect, for all ages, the dynamics with which we move, then, if we slow down we have to do sound the alarm bell and ask “why.” The answer is often not far to seek. It’s all in our lifestyle and in particular the lack of exercise and the errors of power.
Dr. Cesari is stopped on this point: “slowness is a fragility signal. Frailty is not a medical condition, but the risk of a future signal that can be avoided with behavior change. “

The concept of fragility in fact is new in the field of geriatric research and comes from very little used in clinical practice. It speaks of “the fragility syndrome” just the 90 starting from a study by Fried and others and published in the Journals of gerontology. The elderly, considered a biological category and not registry (we know
In fact very well that you can be young at 80 years old to 40) are divided between those in good health, the disabled (ie, elderly dependents and medicalized) and, of course, brittle. These are characterized by the occurrence of at least 3 to 5 signs or symptoms: unintentional weight loss, reduced muscle strength, fatigue, physical inactivity and sluggishness in the journey. It is very general symptoms and also very subjective, but indicate, in the absence of overt disease, increased vulnerability to many future risk factors and how they cause the lifestyle.

“Dealing with vulnerable people means working on Prevention, lead to change bad behavior, avoid the medicalization,” explains Caesars.

The example of Toulouse

At Toulouse in September 2011 it has been developed a pilot project that could become a model for all of Europe. The identification of the “fragility syndrome” (thanks to the preparation of family doctors) not only improves life expectancy, but has positive effects on the national health system costs because it avoids or delays the hospitalization or the medicalization of a part the population becomes more and more predominant.

Here’s how it works: “The patient-fragile when identified by her doctor was invited to a day hospital,” explains
Matteo Cesari University of Toulouse. “During the day in the hospital you are made a general check-in by a team composed of nutritionists, neuropsychologists, physiatrists, cardiologists, etc.) That ends with a personalized plan of action.” If you have not identified the actual conditions proposed intervention is all tied to exercise, to eat well and keep fit even the brain.

The focus is all about do not wait until the risk is passed to the disease, act preventively and work on the causes of fragility that often we can also fight alone. “Fighting the fragility depends on us,” says Cesari.

After just wanting a little ‘more than well even as we age. Indeed perhaps because advancing age. Swimming, gym, dance, physical activity in all ways and at all levels, some pampering at a spa … because moving is good for the muscles and brain, light up the pleasure centers, and makes us go briskly on the streets of a life that is worth living to the hilt.