The Pedometer: The Secret Tool to Reach Your Fitness Goals
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Wikipedia defines pedometer as a device that’s usually portable and electronic or electromechanical. It counts every step a person takes by detecting the movement of his/her hands or hips.
Some beginners tend to ignore this device. But if you’ve been exercising for a while and you still haven’t noticed its importance, dude, you’re missing a lot in your fitness routine!
Owning a pedometer won’t hurt your wallet at all, considering that there are pedometers that are sold at $9. But these types are only for counting your daily steps; they do not have extra information or features. However, they’re perfect for those who want to increase the number of steps they take in a day. Usually, people with fitness goals increase the number of their daily steps by 10 or 20 percent every other two weeks.
However, focusing on your specific steps won’t get you far. Follow these guidelines from the CDC:
2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity of brisk walking every week or 1 hr. and 15 mins. of jogging or running or a mix of jogging/running and brisk walking for an hour and 15 mins.
With the use of a pedometer, you can then compare the number of steps you’ve taken every week and see if your stamina is improving.
Now, why a pedometer?
It’s easy to use. Pedometers are usually easy to setup. You just clip it on and run! Then you just have to reset the steps to zero for the next day. There are pedometers that include other features and need more time for installment, but they’re not that difficult to setup.
They’re accurate. Well, they’re generally accurate. Most pedometers can be trustworthy at counting your basic steps. If you prefer a higher degree if precision, get yourself an activity tracker instead.
It has an easy-to-read display. Pedometers nowadays have clear displays that can be helpful both indoors and outdoors. So much for flexibility.
They are affordable. The price depends on the features, of course. Generally, they are priced from $9 to $50. Activity trackers cost about two to three times that amount or even more if it has various features.
It has extras. Some pedometers can calculate the distance you walked, the time you spent, even the calories you burnt. Some can even monitor your heart rate and be in sync with an app that can track your progress. Some pedometers are waterproof which allows you to wear them while swimming. Some of them have longer battery life than others as well.
How can it help you reach your fitness goals?
Generally, you have to combine muscle-strengthening at least two times a week with daily aerobic activity. If you cannot incorporate the former yet, that’s okay. Improve your routine gradually and include it in your long-term objectives.
Pedometers are helpful because they give you an instant feedback about the level of your activity. Because of this, they encourage you to be better and work even harder. Tracking your progress will also motivate you to beat your previous records.
Here’s a tip: once you get a hold of your pedometer, wear it every day for one week while you perform your activities. Then get your average steps by adding up the total number of steps each day then dividing the sum by seven. The answer will now be your baseline which can serve as your starting point for the goals you’ll set.
The next thing you should do is set your short-term step goals. For example, you normally take 1,500 steps in a single day while doing your usual routine. You can add 500 or 1,000 more per day for two weeks by including a planned walking program into your daily schedule. You can do those steps all at once or take 10-minute chunks of time—whatever works with your schedule. Once you’ve achieved this short-term goal, add another one.
You should also consider your general fitness and activity targets. It shouldn’t end with short-term goals. You must also set your long-term step goals. This could be walking faster as the level of your fitness improves. It could also be walking for 10 kilometers or walking 10,000 steps in a day, several times in a week as part of a new day-to-day routine.
Don’t forget to keep track of your progress. Monitoring your progress using a pedometer is possible if it has a memory feature. If it doesn’t, you can just write them down or use an app to record the steps you take per week or per month. Recording your progress will help you determine if you’re reaching the goals you’ve set and will tell you when you should set new goals.