Drs. Oz & Roizen's Tip of the Day: The healthy power of pedometers

July 2, 2013 

I>n 2011, Jon Beeby walked from Long Beach, N.Y., to Los Angeles, taking around 7 million steps in 88 days. (That's figuring about 2,222 steps to a mile for 3,152 miles.) But who's counting?

Well, we are, and so can you. Get yourself a couple of pedometers, one for a reserve, and one for your waistband or backpack. (Consumer Reports says most pedometers from $5 to $45 have very good or excellent step-count accuracy.) Turns out these step-counting wonders - we use them - are more than passive meters recording what you do. They actually remind you to increase your physical activity, walk more and decrease sitting time; more than three hours a day is a health risk. That's why Dr. Mike loves his treadmill desk!

Here's our 12-week walking program. Bet if you put on that pedometer, you'll walk all over it! If you're beyond beginner, start with week 3.

Week 1: Walk an extra 10-15 minutes, two times per day, at 50 percent to 60 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR). You'll need a heart rate monitor as well, if you do not use a treadmill with one built into the handles. (MHR is 220 minus your age.)

Week 2: Walk an extra 20 minutes, two times per day; same heart rate.

Weeks 3-5: Walk an extra 30, 35 or 40 minutes daily at 50 percent to 70 percent of MHR.

Weeks 6-8: Walk an extra 40 or 50 minutes daily at 60 percent to 75 percent of MHR.

Weeks 9-12: Walk an extra 40, 50 or 60 minutes daily at 60 percent to 75 percent of MHR.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.

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