10,000. Sound like a lot? This number is the often the preset goal for one of the most underrated forms of exercise: walking. Pedometers have grown to be more popular over the years especially as new technology emerges and many smart devices are able to count your steps for you.
Benefits of a Pedometer
- Studies have shown that those who track their steps with a pedometer are associated with increased physical activity, weight loss, and better blood pressure than those who don’t track their steps.
- People who use pedometers walk an average of 2,000 more steps (about 1 mile) than nonusers and have an overall physical activity level increase of 27%.
- The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
- Walking at a pace of 3 mph counts as moderate intensity exercise!
I have been using a smartwatch for 3 years and the pedometer feature never fails to motivate me to move more. My watch lets me know how many steps I have taken for the day and what my goal is and this pushes me to reach that goal. The watch even has a feature that tells me to get up and move around if I’ve been sitting for too long! There are many options of pedometers to get. Getting a smartwatch is a nice route as it offers a variety of features, but this can get pricey. Regular pedometers can be bought for only $10-$15 and you can even download free apps on your phone to count your steps. Get to steppin’!
How to Increase Your Steps
There are hundreds of ways to increase your step count, here are just a few:
- Take a walk in the morning to jump start your day
- Spend less time driving around trying to get the closest parking spot and park your car towards the back
- Take the stairs instead of using the elevator/escalator
- Take a walk during lunch with your coworkers
- Take 5 minute break every 1-2 hours at work to walk around
- You can go to the bathroom
- Grab a drink of water
- Eat a snack in the cafeteria
- Walk around while on a phone call
- Walk your dog
- Play tag with your kids
- Take an evening stroll after dinner
How to Get Started
The best way to get started is to set yourself up for success. These are some tips:
- Start with a lower step count, it doesn’t have to be 10,000
- Have a goal: aim to increase your step count by 200 steps everyday
- Find a walking buddy, or buddies!: It’s always easier to be active when you have someone who is willing to work towards a same goal
- Walk up and down stairs/hills. Walking on an incline/decline burns more calories
- Set a reminder. Create an alarm every hour reminding you to take a brisk walk
What are some of the ways you get your steps in? Email us ([email protected]) or leave a comment below!
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