Slow walking and ageing 走路慢 老得快

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科學家們一直在尋找能讓人們延長壽命,獲得健康幸福生活的方法。本期 「隨身英語」 圍繞最新的一項研究展開討論——這項研究稱,人們在40多歲時走路的速度是他們的大腦和身體衰老程度的標誌。走路速度較慢的人是不是應該加快步伐呢?

Vocabulary: health 詞彙:健康

Getting old might not be something that’s yet to cross your mind. But ageing is inevitably going to get the better of us one day, so it’s something I’m sure we’d all like control. It would be great to have a long, healthy and happy life, and that’s why scientists are constantly seeking out evidence that will show us what we need to do to achieve longevity.

We all know that regular exercise is good for us. In recent years we’ve been told to aim to walk 10,000 steps a day to remain healthy, although other advice to do three brisk 10-minute walks a day is thought to be even more effective. But the latest piece of research might put a spring in your step if you’re someone who walks at a fast pace. That’s because, according to scientists, the speed at which people walk in their 40s is a sign of how much their brains, as well as their bodies, are ageing.

The BBC’s Philippa Roxby writes that tests on 1,000 people from New Zealand born in the 1970s found that slower walkers tended to show signs of “accelerated ageing“. Their lungs, teeth and immune systems were in worse shape than those who walked faster. And to add insult to injury, the study found not only did slower walkers’ bodies age more quickly, their faces looked older and they had smaller brains. Professor Terrie E Moffitt, lead author of the study, told the BBC: “[it] found that a slow walk is a problem sign decades before old age.”

This might be seen as a wake-up call for people with a slower gait who might feel it’s time to work out and get fitter. But it might be too late; researchers writing in JAMA Network Open say they were able to predict the walking speed of 45-year-olds using the results of intelligence, language and motor skills tests from when they were aged three. They also suggest that even in early life, there are signs showing which people will go on to have a healthier life.

So, what’s the point of knowing that a slower walking pace might mean a smaller brain? Well, researchers say measuring walking speed at a younger age, and understanding what this might mean, could be a way of testing treatments to slow human ageing. This might help us make lifestyle changes while we’re still young and healthy. Any steps we can take to prolong a good mental and physical state is a no brainer!

詞彙表

to cross sb’s mind (念頭)閃現,想起
ageing 衰老
to get the better of sb 擊敗
longevity 長壽
brisk 輕快的
effective 有效的
a spring in your step 步伐輕快
fast pace 快節奏,快步伐
brains 大腦
a slower walker 走路速度慢的人
accelerated ageing 加速老化
immune system 免疫系統
lung 肺部
in worse shape 情況更糟糕
to add insult to injury 往傷口撒鹽
a wake-up call 警示
gait 步伐,步態
work out 鍛鍊身體
treatment 治療方法
make lifestyle changes 改變生活習慣
a no brainer 容易理解的事情

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. Which is thought to be better exercise – walking 10,000 steps a day or doing three brisk walks a day?

2. According to this research, how big were the brains of people who in their mid-40s walked slowly?

3. True or false? By testing people’s walking speed at 45, scientists could predict who would go on to have a healthier life.

4. What could the findings from this research be used for to help people lead a longer and healthier life?

5. Which word used in the article means: 『make something last longer’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思恰當的單詞填入句子中的空格處。

1. I think the most _______ cure for a cold is drinking honey and lemon and getting plenty of rest!

longevity                      effective                            treatments                   work out

2. The ferry was in a _______ than when I last sailed on it. I was worried it was going to sink!

worst shape                 worse shapes                   worse shaped             worse shape

3. My maths test results are a _______ that I need to study harder.

wake-up call                no brainer                         work out                      lifestyle change

4. I put my grandfather’s _______ down to a healthy diet and not smoking or drinking.

gait                              motor skills                       longevity                      brisk

5. When you were cooking chicken casserole, did it not _______ that our guests are all vegetarians?!

cross my mind             crossed your mind           cross your mind           cross his mind

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. Which is thought to be better exercise – walking 10,000 steps a day or doing three brisk walks a day?
In recent years we’ve been told to aim to walk 10,000 steps a day to remain healthy, although other advice to do three brisk 10-minute walks a day is thought to be even more effective.

2. According to this research, how big were the brains of people who, in their mid-40s, walked slowly?
The study found slower walkers had smaller brains.

3. True or false? By testing people’s walking speed at 45, scientists could predict who would go on to have a healthier life.
False. Researchers were able to predict the walking speed of 45-year-olds using the results of intelligence, language and motor skills tests from when they were aged three.

4. What could the findings from this research be used for to help people lead a longer and healthier life?
Researchers say measuring walking speed at a younger age, and knowing what this might mean, could be a way of testing treatments to slow human ageing.

5. Which word used in the article means: 『make something last longer’?
Prolong (「Any steps we can take to keep to prolong a good mental and physical state is a no brainer!)

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思恰當的單詞填入句子中的空格處。

1. I think the most effective cure for a cold is drinking honey and lemon and getting plenty of rest!

2. The ferry was in a worse shape than when I last sailed on it. I was worried it was going to sink!

3. My maths test results are a wake-up call that I need to study harder.

4. I put my grandfather’s longevity down to a healthy diet and not smoking or drinking.

5. When you were cooking chicken casserole, did it not cross your mind that our guests are all vegetarians?!