Walking With A Pedometer Can Increase Your Fitness

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 9:56am

By Michele Silence, MA

Just like an odometer records the miles your car travels, pedometers measure the steps you take during the day. Once programmed according to your age and walking stride, a pedometer can become an instant workout buddy. It will not only tell you how many steps you take but how many miles you cover. As a bonus, it might even calculate the total calories you’ve burned!

Using a pedometer means exercising becomes part of your daily routine

Pedometers are fascinating because you can actually see how many steps you use for your daily activities, on your average run, or during your favorite aerobics class. Likewise, you’ll also know how few steps you take on the days you don’t workout at all. Ideally, you should strive to take at least 10,000 steps every day. The average person working at a desk job will find this is not an easy task. Still, a pedometer will help you learn just what you have to do to get in those extra steps to hit your daily goal.

Once you use a pedometer you’ll find yourself wondering how many steps you’re taking all the time—at the grocery store, at the amusement park, while watching television, while gardening, etc. It’s a learning experience that teaches you which activities you do in daily life that are most beneficial to your health. Most people are amazed at how few steps they really take during the day.

Pedometers come with a variety of options

The simpler ones are quite inexpensive and clip to your belt or waist. Just open them up for an instant readout. Some of the better ones, like SportBrain, record your steps over the months and enable you to download them to your computer where they provide graphs and charts which help you see how many calories you burn for specific exercise sessions. They also offer forums for chatting with other fellow steppers. If you’re new to exercise, consider using one of the better ones because they encourage interaction with others via games, contests, and motivational activities. When you surround yourself with other newbies, you won’t feel alone and may even develop some wonderful new relationships.

Small changes in exercise habits lead to lasting results

Regardless of the type you choose, a pedometer may be just the added boost to keep you on a regular fitness program. Aiming for a set number of steps everyday makes the challenge of getting fit manageable. Focus on just one day at a time. Go for the goal and do what’s needed to get there. You’ll find yourself going for an extra walk, taking extra steps from the parking lot and expending just a few more calories here and there. It’s those small changes that add up during the course of the year leading to permanent, lasting results.