A pedometer measures the amount of steps you take by detecting the motion of your hips or legs, depending on where you place the device. Many people use these devices in order to improve their exercise routine by meeting specific goals of “steps.” A brisk walk around the block can show you how many steps it takes for the specific distance. How do you use these efficiently to provide the best benefits?
Setting a goal for how many steps you wish to take is good, but it needs to be realistic. If you can’t meet your goal due to various complications such as being out of shape, then you could be setting yourself up for failure. This failure could be detrimental to your mindset making it easier for you to give up. Set a primary goal that is obtainable and then periodically increase that number.
Configure the Pedometer
Some pedometers may have configurations that need to be set correctly in order to determine your activity. This is entirely up to the manufacturer of the pedometer as they could have been basic or elaborate in the design. Once all the settings are programmed, if any, then you are ready to attach the device and go.
Attaching the Device
Some of these units work well when attached to the hip. Others seem to work better if you clip them onto the pocket of your clothing. The device needs to measure the motion of your body as each step is taken. Attaching the device to your chest or near your center of mass will prevent it from detecting the movements of your legs accurately.
Accuracy of Movement
If everything is set correctly in the pedometer, you should go for a quick walk to make sure it is detecting your movement. Count each step as you walk down the block and see if your count matches that of the device. If it doesn’t, then you need to configure the device again or alter the way you walk. Slow strolls may not be recorded correctly while a brisk walking pace could prove accurate.
When you set a goal, don’t forget that the number of steps is a round trip. Unless you want to double that number of steps, you need to divide it in half. This is the number of steps you need to take before it is time to turn around and return home. If you don’t turn back at your halfway point, you will wind up walking twice as much as your goal – which may not be a bad thing unless you are short on time or of breath.
Recording Your Data
Using a spreadsheet in Excel or Open Office, you can monitor your progress with how many steps your pedometer records you making. If you feel like “geeking out” a bit, you can even make a chart to show this progress. In any event, it is good to keep a count of your development as it can help you keep motivated to continue and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Walking or jogging is an excellent method of exercise. Keeping your body in motion is key to staving off weight and providing yourself with stamina. Use your pedometer wisely and strive to break your own personal records.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at Liveinnanny.org. She particularly enjoys writing about parenting, childcare, health and wellness. In addition, she is an expert consultant on issues related to household management and kids.