Health & Medicine

Drs. Oz and Roizen: Get your free pedometer app

“Step right up, ladies and gents. Step right up!” Carnival barker Gabby Gilfoil (W.C. Fields) in the silent 1927 film “Two Flaming Youths” enticed passersby to try a new experience. And we’d like to get you to step right up, too, and get your free step-counter app for your smartphone! It can help you reduce your risk of heart disease; improve blood pressure, blood sugar and lousy LDL cholesterol levels; and boost happiness!

We’ve always suggested that you get two pedometers: one to carry, one to stash in the car. But a new study shows that these apps are an appealing and effective alternative. They’re pretty accurate (plus or minus around 6 percent; a little less accurate than stand-alone devices), have cool extras and free you from having to carry yet another device.

If you’re one of the many folks who are reluctant to tote around a conventional pedometer, look up Breeze, MapMyWalk, Moves, Pacer, Pedometer for M7, Pedometer++, Runtastic, Steps and Walker M7 to see what appeals to you. You can download them from Google Play or the App Store on iTunes. They run on any smartphone (the new apps need an M7 chip). And not only can they count and record your steps by the minute, hour, day, week, month and year, they can give you your target BMI, show you where you’ve been walking, running or biking using GPS mapping, and let you know how much energy (calories) you spent doing it. So step, step, step (10,000 of them is your daily minimum -- no excuses) right up!

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