On September 14, Mehmet Oz—cardiac surgeon, coauthor of You: The Owner’s Manual, and longtime resident healer on The Oprah Winfrey Show—launches a daytime talk show, The Dr. Oz Show.
What advice do people never take?
Maintain muscle mass. Frailty is a killer, and it can start very early in life. By the time you’re 50, you’re getting hunched over; even by 40, you’re putting on weight because fat burns fewer calories than muscle does. You need to get some arduous daily physical activity, at the gym or just by doing some serious gardening. Yoga and tai chi are great for this, by the way. Done right, they help build strength.
What advice do you yourself have the most trouble following?
I have a really difficult time meditating. I used to try to rest my mind when I was on the treadmill, but I kept jumping off to jot down some great idea that was actually not great but seemed like it when I was running as fast as I could. What works for me is yoga; I do it every morning.
How will you stay healthy, doing the TV show five days a week on top of surgery and everything else?
I’ve tried to engineer things so that it’s easy for me to do the right thing. I have exercise equipment in front of the TV. I need to watch Oprah every day, so I run on the elliptical trainer while I watch it. During the commercials, I do my weight work. It sounds dumb, but I get my workout in.
What are the two most important things people should do to keep themselves young?
Walk. When you can’t walk a quarter mile in five minutes, your chance of dying within three years goes up dramatically. Second most important is building a community—avoiding isolation. Because if your heart doesn’t have a reason to keep beating, it won’t.