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Get moving and walk away from a possible stroke risk

Mar. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

In any given week, 75 percent of Americans don't walk continuously for even 10 minutes! But the act of putting one foot in front of another has excited scholars, poets and ordinary folks for millennia. St. Augustine declared about any dilemma: "It is solved by walking." Charles Dickens insisted, "If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode." Ellen DeGeneres claims, "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now; we don't know where the heck she is." And for years we've been telling you: Walking 10,000 steps a day can make your RealAge as much as 3.4 years younger.

Here's more info to motivate you to get out and find your stride: A new study says women who walk briskly for 210 minutes a week have a lower risk of stroke than inactive women (not surprising) -- and a lower risk than women who do high-intensity exercise for fewer minutes a week (surprising). Seems energetic trekking has special benefits that add up the more you walk.

Here are four ways to get more walking in your day:

1. In the morning, head out for a 20-minute walk. Aim to cover a mile.

2. Always park at the far end of the lot. (Saves you on dents and scratches, too.)

3. Use your lunch hour to walk; enlist a buddy.

4. Take a nightly after-dinner stroll with a friend, family member(s) or both.

And get a pedometer. You'll be amazed at how soon you're hitting 10,000 steps a day!

Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Dr. Mike Roizen is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.