My patients have a single goal in mind… to be “trim, fit and healthy”. And once they apply proper tools and strategies, they transform into “superstars”. One of those core strategies is to increase physical activity without spending countless, painful hours at the gym. A simple tool we recommend is the “Clicker”, a very accurate and reliable professional quality pedometer that records daily steps, counting a “click” for each step. The Clicker is powerful, research-based, and produces REAL results. As I tell my patients, if your goal is to be “trim, fit and healthy”, use a Clicker.
Research shows those using a Clicker (or another professional quality pedometer) as part of their Optimum Health Plan “automatically” increase their daily steps by 2,000 (an extra mile of walking a day)! And they can expect the following benefits…
- Weight loss is greater initially and long-term!
- Blood Pressure drops around 4 mm Hg.
- Mood improves.
- Strength increases in muscles and bones!
- Overall activity level increases 26.9%!
- Risk drops for the “Deadly 4” (heart disease, cancer, stroke/Alzheimer’s, and diabetes).
Americans walk about 5,100 steps per day, just half as many as the Swiss (9,600 steps per day). The result? We have 4 times the rate of obesity! Walking works! My patients are typically very intelligent, goal-oriented achievers, without a lazy bone in their bodies. And they want to be trim, fit and healthy! Yet invariably they tell me they need to be more active… so why aren’t they? There are 3 reasons:
- Fatigue. People are “tired”, with little energy left over for physical activity. With computers, cell phones, never-ending work, and social expectations, we get less sleep than any people in history. We are malnourished of vitamins and minerals. Stress and being “busy” drains us. We have an epidemic of fatigue! Less activity is to be expected.
- Paid to sit. More than any other working generation, most of us are actually paid to “sit still” and solve intellectual problems rather than use our bodies for physical labor. From the time we get in our cars to go to work until we shut our garage door in the evening, most of us get very little walking with our daily routine. Work responsibilities limit our daily activity.
- Age. Is it just me, or are we all getting older? It turns out that age is one of the primary factors determining activity level. Each decade of aging (after our 20’s) results in a 7.5% decrease in our daily physical activity. The older we are, the less we move and the more inactive we become…
To be more active, we need accountability, guidance, encouragements, reminders, and affirmations that will subtly work in the background on a daily basis to help us move more. Clickers accomplish that and more. Consider these interesting facts about walking (“clicking”):
- Click 20 steps to burn a calorie! (and yes, we wish it was more…)
- Click 100 steps per minute to achieve excellent metabolism stimulation.
- Walking or jogging 3,000 steps in 30 minutes is an ideal daily fitness plan.
- 10,000 total steps daily can maintain a trim, fit, healthy body!
As you begin using a “Clicker”, there are 3 mandatory keys for success…
First, you must set a “steps per day” goal in writing! 5,000 is a good starting goal, work towards 10,000.
Second, use a quality pedometer. They are not created equal. Our Clicker is one of 3 brands recommended by University of Tennessee researchers who found that some others “over counted” steps by 45% or under counted by 25%. Accuracy is a key! If not ours, find a durable, accurate brand.
Third, record your steps daily. Our “Tague Tracker” phone app (“Healthtrac”) is a quick, easy to use tool to track your steps over time. It is free to everyone on any of our programs (including our Essential Nutrient Package by Auto Delivery). Journaling on paper works too.
Now you know why I challenge all our patients to join me and use a Clicker regularly. As you consider my “Clicker” challenge, envision that trim, fit, and healthy body that can only happen as you embrace proper tools and strategies…. like the Clicker!
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.