Body Tip One easy way to reduce your risk of several common health concerns: Take more steps every day.

For more than a decade, public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans to take 10,000 steps every day. Walking has numerous benefits: It will help you lose weight and decrease your risk of heart disease, memory loss and cancer, to name just a few. But we’re falling farther and farther behind! “Most people get only between 3,000 and 5,000 steps a day as part of their normal routine,” says Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. Ten thousand steps are equal to about five miles a day, and people who walk that much are considered “active.” People who live in certain cities do better than most. According to a recent survey, the cities where people take the most steps every day are Cambridge, Massachusetts, New York City, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Those of us who take 12,500 steps a day are highly active according to the researchers. If you’re new to walking, build up your steps gradually. During the first couple of weeks, you might be able to walk for only a few minutes, says Dr. Roizen, but don’t get discouraged. “In about eight weeks, by gradually adding steps every day, you should be able to reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day,” he says. Invest in a pedometer to stay motivated and help you keep tabs on exactly how many steps you’re taking. Need helping staying on track? Find a walking buddy. Walking with a partner helps you stay committed to your routine and makes it more interesting.


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