Walking is a great way to stay fit; it’s the perfect low impact, aerobic exercise for people of all ages. However, regular walks may not effectively help you reach your target heart rate or help you achieve your fitness goals if you don’t measure your progress with a pedometer.
A pedometer takes all the guess-work out of your workout; it measures exactly how many steps you take, so if you set your goal at 5,000 steps per day, a pedometer will track your progress. It’s a wonderful motivational tool, and it is useful for any activity that involves taking steps; cross-country skiing, running, climbing stairs, or simply doing routine chores around the house.
Pedometers are easy to use, simply slip one in your pocket, strap on to your wrist, or clip one to your waistband. If you want to measure more than your footsteps, use a pedometer that tracks the amount of calories burned during the workout and your heart rate. Information from some pedometers is downloadable to computers, making it possible to track progress electronically, and share your progress on social media if you desire.
Some pedometers have a built-in GPS, allowing you to track favorite walking routes as well. There are also pedometers available that go far beyond counting steps and calories; they measure your health statistics 24/7; your activity during the day as well as your sleep cycles at night. Some pedometers also feature training diaries and keep files about your training stats so that you can see at a glance your progress over time.
Before you shop for pedometers, take some time to determine not only your fitness goals, but what types of health statistics you want to track. A basic, no frills pedometer will accurately keep tracks of the number of steps you take during your workout, or the steps you take all day long. If it is important to you to know how many calories you are burning, or what your heart rate is during your workout, then look for a multi-function pedometer.
Most pedometers are inexpensive; a very basic one costs less than a casual meal out. A state-of-the-art, multi-functioning, 24/7 pedometer can cost well over $100, but keep in mind the most expensive pedometer is still more affordable than a gym membership, and it is functional day and night, indoors and outdoors; it also serves as a constant fitness goal reminder and motivator.