couch-potatoI came across a funny quote I wanted to share. “Some exercise researchers say we’re naturally sedentary creatures, evolved to be couch potatoes long before there were couches (or potatoes).” Ain’t it the truth? Our dependency on cars doesn’t help either.

Walking is the easiest and simplest exercise you can do to get out of your inactivity rut. You don’t need to join and pay monthly fees to a gym or buy expensive exercise machines. All you need is a decent pair of walking shoes and a pedometer and you can incorporate activities you do every day like grocery shopping or climbing stairs.

Why a pedometer?

The single, most important benefit of wearing a pedometer lies in the fact that it is a great motivational tool for promoting physical activity and fitness awareness. A 2007 summary of 26 studies by Stanford researchers published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that walkers using pedometers completed about 2,000 more steps daily than walkers who did not use a pedometer. The pedometer users experienced a 27% increase in overall physical activity level.

Goal Setting with Pedometers

Like a lot of exercise programs the positive effect of using a pedometer can diminish over time, but having an activity goal combined with the use of a pedometer is an important factor in avoiding that as studies have shown. Setting a goal and using a pedometer are a winning combination that help you stay motivated .

A well-known, common goal is 10,000 steps a day (or about 5 miles) which may seem daunting. However, if you figure that the majority of us usually take 6000 to 7000 steps a day then you need to increase your daily steps by 500 to 1000 steps. You can see 10,000 steps becomes easily reachable.

Being Accountable to Yourself

Being accountable is also a powerful motivator and using a pedometer is a great way of monitoring and making yourself accountable. You may think you’ve had a pretty active day but that might not be the case. A pedometer will provide the accurate data to hold yourself accountable. So if you see clearly that you are a few steps short after supper, you will be more likely to take your dog for another walk.

Walking Buddies Unlimited

Then there is the social aspect that plays a great importance. A lot of the pedometers on the market now allow you to connect to an online community where you can share your experiences, seek encouragement, exchange information and even join fitness challenges. This is not limited to friends and family but to a wide group of like-minded people. Can’t find a walking buddy? Who needs one when you can connect with a whole bunch of walking buddies online to help you on your fitness journey.

Weight Loss Helper

Research has also shown wearing a pedometer helps with weight loss because as we all know being more active can help you lose weight and also maintain your weight goal. In addition, there are pedometers that offer online connectivity with great apps and web software that help you log your food, make healthy food choices and control your calorie intake.

walking-potoato

Health Benefits of a Pedometer

Engaging in regular daily activity results in many health benefits such as stress relief, lower blood pressure, blood sugar control, cholesterol level and bone density improvements, decreased body mass index, lower risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In addition, it can contribute immensely to longevity.

Just a brisk walk at 3 mph for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week is recommended by the Surgeon General for a healthy lifestyle. Even if you divide that up into even more doable 10-minute chunks, you will still get the health benefits. How easy is that! When it comes to losing or maintaining weight, you can burn 190 calories per hour just by walking on a level surface at 3.5 mph.

Pedometers are extremely useful in providing objective and reliable measurement in gauging your daily activity. You may think you are doing enough but most people overestimate their actual amount of steps. You can quickly see when you are falling short of your daily goal and make adjustments accordingly. With an accurate reading of your steps and calorie intake, pedometers can provide that extra incentive to reach your daily goal.

A Pedometer as Your Best Walking Buddy

Pedometers have a lot going for them. They are small, unobtrusive, easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Age makes no difference in who can wear them nor does the level of activity of the user. Young or old, sedentary or fitness buff, pedometers can be everyone’s best walking buddy. Combined with a set daily goal and you’re on your way to a healthy, active life.

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