I’ve been hearing the latest health edict for quite a while.
“Sitting is the new smoking!”
The human body was made to move, not sit. Get up and walk. Just do it.
OK, I sprang for a book. “This Is Your Do-Over: The 7 Secrets to Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want,” by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. It’s 358 pages hardback, including index and a forward by Dr. Oz. Yep, that Dr. Oz.
The book is just published in February 2015. Only $26 in the U.S., $32 in Canada. I heard about it on Maryland Public Television. Since when does Public TV do infomercials for books?
I’ll be the first to admit it, I could use a do-over. Lots of things I’d like to do over. How often does a complete stranger come along and offer you a second chance? Huh?
“By learning to incorporate seven simple principles into your life, you can erase virtually all of the damage that your body may have sustained.”
Thus says the good doctor, Michael Roizen. Who is he kidding? On the other hand, he happens to be the “chief wellness officer” at the Cleveland Clinic. It’s in Cleveland.
Dr. Roizen promises that if we follow his program, we’ll all live longer and better, “with a stronger body, a sharper mind, a more-fulfilling sex life, and so much energy . . .” Blah, Blah, Blah.
Is Dr. Roizen serious? Yes, apparently he is. Serious as a heart attack. Serious as a heart attack AND a Marine drill sergeant.
“This Is Your Do-Over” covers a lot of territory, especially nutrition and exercise. The nutrition part seems a little complicated, to me. I think it might involve giving up most of the things I like to eat. You know, cheese, meat, eggs, fat, sugar. Whoa, I believe I’ll come back to nutrition later. For now, I’ll go straight to exercise.
Dr. Roisen recommends that I simply do a little bit of regular physical activity. He talks some about other exercise, but he is most adamant about walking.
“Ten thousand steps is the magic number — and you can get there.”
Ten thousand steps every day, seven days a week! By the way, ten thousand steps equals about five miles, according to the good doctor.
So I go out to purchase a pedometer. I wanted a simple, old-fashioned, mechanical pedometer. But of course I couldn’t find anything so simple. I ended up buying a “Fitbit.” It’s small and high-tech, and it costs more than I planned to spend. That’s what credit cards are for.
I’ve been using the Fitbit for about a week. It tells me how many steps I take, how many miles I walk, how many calories I burn. It even knows what time it is.
So far, I’ve made ten thousand steps only one day. But at least I know it can be done. Dr. Roisen says it’s a perfectly reasonable number. You can achieve 10K if you walk steadily for at least a half-hour every day. And then park the car a far distance from the mall or the grocery store for the balance of the day. Simple. I believe the doctor.
Today, Thursday, I’ve only racked up 8,232 steps. I was going to report my miles and calories burned as well. But the clock just struck midnight, the Fitbit erased all of Thursday’s information, and I’m starting Friday with zero steps.
Look, I’ll have to get back to you on the walking project. Maybe I’ll check in next time I hit ten thousand miles — I mean steps — in a single 24-hour period. Right now it’s Friday, a whole new day, another chance at a do-over. I’ve got to get moving.
— John Hayden