What is a Pedometer
and how does it work?
A pedometer could be the best investment you ever make.
Pedometer comes from the Latin words
ped = walk and meter = measure.
It is a small device which can count your steps and tell you how active you are (instead of how active you think you are.)
Also called a step counter it senses movement and counts every step you take. Many offer lots of fancy features which are unnecessary for our simple purpose.
There are basically 3 categories:
- The Piezo-Electric.
- The Coiled Spring.
- The Hair Spring.
I use the first categorie with 2 extras, distance covered and calories burned just for fun. But lets compare the others briefly to find out why.
The piezo – electric is silent. It uses a sensor to detect movement and software to count steps and calculate calories burned and miles/kilometers covered. It is the most accurate type even when it is not hanging perfectly straight. Slower steps are still measured accurately. There are lots of styles to choose from and they cost around $20- $25. Because it uses more power you will need to replace the batteries every 6 months or so.
The coiled spring type has moving parts which click loudly as it registers each step. Annoying if you are wearing the pedometer all day. It is not as accurate as the piezo. The device must hang straight and vertically. On more rounded mid-sections it doesn’t work so well. Cost around $10-$15
The hairspring is only mentioned because the market is flooded with them for next to nothing. They wear out extremely quickly and begin to over count. They are loud and not as accurate as the other types. Sometimes given as free gifts. Ok to try out!
Wearing a pedometer every day for a week will establish exactly how active you are.
My late husband was a pilot and he had a great saying:
If you know where you are,
you can go where you want!
If you know you are lagging behind in the fitness stakes but have a burning desire to feel fit and get back into all those clothes you love then just add some steps, then more and…
The recommended daily step count for improving fitness and losing weight is 10.000
People who do less than 5.000 steps per day were found to be more often over weight and unfit.
So if you are reasonably fit and just want to speed up metabolism and lose some weight then you could plan to add 1.000 steps per day with any kind of activity you choose. If you want to shape up quicky for summer you might choose to take a morning walk to add 3 or 4.000 steps per day, use up calories and build muscle.
Are you very over weight or unfit? Perhaps you should first speak to your doctor but he will probably be pleased and advise you to take things slowly.
That could mean walking around your garden, going to the end of your road and back or taking a slow but longer walk in the park. Check how many steps you did and plan to go a little further tomorrow. Every step counts!
A Walking Log
This is a great idea for planning goals per week or per month and also for keeping a record of your progress.
A pedometer is just a small device but it can make a huge difference.
You can monitor your progress in miles.
Catch up after days when you didn’t exercise.
Know roughly how many calories you burned.
Later you can see how you’re picking up speed.
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