Put Spring in Your Step With a Pedometer!Last updated: Apr 16, 2012
Looking for something to help motivate you to get moving now that spring is here? Use a pedometer!
By tracking the number of steps you’ve taken in your day or workout, a pedometer can help encourage you to do more if you’re falling short of your daily goal.
How does a pedometer work?
Pedometers count footsteps based on your stride. Depending on the type of pedometer, they also offer features that:
- Estimate your distance
- Calculate your pace
- Estimate the numbers of calories you burn
- Monitor your pulse
- Time your workout
- Store your data
- Allow you to upload your data to a computer
Some pedometers are equipped with a clock, stopwatch, timer, and alarm. Others also allow you to establish and track progress toward your goals. Some pedometers even play music!
Choosing a Pedometer
When choosing a pedometer, look for features that will motivate you to keeping walking!
Consider these features when deciding what pedometer is best for you:
- Easy-to-read display
Choose a pedometer with a display that's easy to read when you're on the move
- Reset button
Be certain the reset button isn’t easily triggered as you’re tracking your steps! Some pedometers automatically reset at midnight and cannot be used only for your workout; if you only want to track your workout, be sure to get a pedometer you can reset
Be sure the pedometer you choose can be worn comfortably. Some pedometers don’t work well when they're tilted or bumping against you while tucked in your pocket or hanging around your neck; pedometers that work well in any position are preferable
- Tracking options
Decide whether you want to track total steps per day, just your workout, or both. Some pedometers allow you to track your workout as well as the total number of steps you take in a day, whereas others only show distance and total number of steps, without separating your workout
- Two- and 3-axis accelerometers are more accurate than spring-mechanism pedometers. Accelerometers work well under almost all circumstances in- and outdoors, including when they’re tilted, hanging from a line, or tucked into your pocket
- Pocket pedometers are especially useful if you plan to track every step throughout your day
- Pedometer watches are useful when tracking your total steps for the day as well as when you’re working out
- Spring-mechanism pedometers are less accurate than accelerometers. As long as you’re going to invest in a pedometer and take the time to engage in a walking program, it’s wise to have a device that gives you the most accurate information possible
- Mobile phone pedometer applications, speedometers, and odometers have general positioning systems (GPSs) for tracking your speed and distance when walking outside
- Computer-compatible pedometers allow you to upload your data to your mobile phone and computer so that you can see a graph of your progress. In some cases, the models offer GPS sensors for distance and speed
- iPod nano pedometer and mobile phone applications (apps) have an accelerometer for counting steps and a GPS to calculate distance. Some of these pedometers allow you to track your total daily steps, whereas others can only be used for workouts. Remember that the GPS can only be used outdoors and requires lots of battery. If you like sharing your progress on social media or email, you might prefer using an iPod or mobile phone pedometer!
- Google Map pedometer allows you to calculate your distance for running, walking, cycling, and other activities. By marking points along the Google map, the website will compute the distance of your route in miles or kilometers
To learn more about specific pedometer brands, including the Omron, Yamax Digiwalker, Fitbit Ultra Tracker, and New Lifestyles models, check out Wendy Baumgardner’s Top 10 Pedometers review. A certified marathon coach, Ms. Baumgarder is an expert walker and organizer of walking events. Her outstanding review of pedometers includes pros, cons, concise descriptions, pictures, and best circumstances for each pedometer.
If you would like professional advice about starting or improving your walking and exercise routine,
our experts can help!
Call Summit Medical Group Physical Therapy today