Health Advice



Taking steps to prevent diabetes

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Will Smith has gone on social media aiming to prove he can walk 10,000 steps in one session -- and beat back the dad bod he says he developed over the past couple of years. Bravo that. But for women in their 60s and 70s, increasing their steps has different benefits -- it fends off diabetes.

A recent study published in Diabetes Care shows older women reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes by adding more walking. For seven years, the researchers from University of California San Diego tracked more than 4,800 women. They found that for every 1,000 steps the women added to their usual daily dose, they reduced their risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by 6%. And those who added moderate- to vigorous-intensity steps were even more likely to fend off diabetes.

Just think, adding 10,000 steps a day -- well, that reduces the risk by 60% or more. Plus, serious walking offers a full range of added benefits: stress reduction, increased bone strength, improved cardiovascular fitness, better balance, a stronger immune system and a better mood. What's not to like?

To get started:

1. Talk to your doctor about any precautions you should take.

2. Get great walking shoes that support your ankles and arches and cushion your stride (but not squishy).

3. Download a pedometer to your phone or consider a wearable fitness tracker.


4. Start slowly. Increase your distance over weeks and months.

5. Feeling reluctant? Start with the Cleveland Clinic's "Walking in Place" plan at


Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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