Walking is a great way to get and stay fit, but are you doing enough to see results? Activity-tracking devices and apps are very popular, but if you want to keep it simple, even an old school pedometer can help you set and reach your fitness goals, and this can motivate you to keep walking.
How do you know which kind of pedometer to get?
- Ease of use. Although some pedometers have more features and require more setup than do others, most are quite simple to use. Just clip it on and go, resetting the steps to zero each day when you start over.
- Display. Look for a device with a display that you can read in different types of lighting, especially if you’ll be using it both indoors and outdoors.
- Price. The cost of a pedometer typically depends on how many features it offers. Pedometer prices generally ranges from $10 to $50.
Use these tips to integrate a pedometer into your activity routine:
- Establish a baseline. When you get your pedometer, wear it throughout the day for three straight days as you go about your routine activities at home or work. Add up the total number of steps for each of the three days, and then divide that total by three. This gives you a baseline number of steps.
- Set short-term step goals. If you normally take about 2,000 steps a day while going about your normal routine, set a short-term goal of adding on another 500 to 1,000 steps a day for a week by incorporating a planned walking program into your schedule. You can either do it all at once or break your walking into 10-minute chunks of time to accommodate your schedule. When you meet one short-term goal, add a new one.
- Set long-term step goals. A long-term goal may be walking 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles, several times a week as part of your new daily routine.
- Track your progress. Tracking your progress can help you see whether you’re meeting your goals and when it may be time to set fresh goals.
Be sure to talk to a doctor before starting a new fitness program. He or she can help you set realistic goals based on your fitness level and any health issues you may have.
Whatever your fitness goals, take them one step at a time, and enjoy the feeling of knowing that you’re on the path to better health and fitness. Read more online at: http://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter8.aspx
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