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Dr. Val Tells ABC News To Get Off Their Butts

Some researchers say that America has “sitting disease” because (on average) we spend 56 hours a week in a seated position. I had the chance to talk to the ABC news team in Washington, DC, about the importance of daily activity to keep our bodies from losing muscle mass. I encouraged us to think of activity not just as going to the gym, but as the daily commitment to NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis, described by Dr. James Levine at the Mayo Clinic). And yes, I confessed to having sitting disease myself… and have made a clear New Year’s resolution to address this problem!

Dr. Val Offers ABC News Secrets To Long-Term Weight Loss

Dr. Jim Hill is a friend of mine and co-developer of the National Weight Control Registry – the nation’s largest database of individuals who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept off the weight for at least 1 year. Jim has been studying their commonalities – and has determined that there is in fact a recipe for long-term weight loss success. I shared the recipe with ABC news today. My interviewer (Natasha Barrett) was really funny, and had tendencies to blurt questions in the middle of our conversation (such as: “what do you think of granola bars?”)

Pedometer Malfunction

This is day 2 of the Woman Challenge, and I’m supposed to take at least 10,000 steps a day for 8 weeks. So I got myself a pedometer and marveled at how sedentary I am. Then I dragged myself upstairs to a small stuffy white room (where my building has a treadmill and elliptical machine) and decided to make up the rest of my steps for the day (about 8000!) So I was jogging along, huffing and puffing, eyes fixed on a door jam, and at the 30 minute mark I checked my pedometer. I was at 3000 steps only. Now, my math isn’t that great, but I think I can do more than 1000 steps in 30 minutes of jogging.

On closer inspection, my pedometer had ceased counting. Argh! I started shaking it and I realized that there must be some sort of ball bearing inside, trapped like some helpless pinball in the recesses of the little metal box in which it lives.

So my question is this: does anyone know how to keep a pedometer functioning properly? Do I need to find a way to make more movement in the Y-plane when I’m jogging? Should I bob around or do the “funny walk” to keep the little thing from going into pinball “tilt” mode?

Maybe hubby was right - I need to find a sport that I’m good at.

Hrmph.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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Latest Book Reviews

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