How does a pedometer help people achieve their fitness goals? - Pre-workout guidance (2023)

Pedometers, or step counters, became very popular in the 1980s and 1990s. With the invention of fitness trackers like Fitbits or the Apple Watch, pedometers were integrated into other devices and are used more than ever.

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What is a pedometer?

A pedometer is a device that counts each step you take by detecting your body movement. These devices usually use a mechanical sensor and software to count steps. Today, devices like smartphones and smartwatches can easily track your steps, without using a separate device. These devices use things like accelerometers orMEMS inertial sensorsto detect your steps.

How accurate are pedometers?

The best pedometers are accurate to within ±5%. For this reason, we do not recommend that you take a pedometer reading that is 100% accurate, but use the number as a general reference or comparison over time.

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Modern pedometers, like those found in Apple Watches, have more data points to use to determine how many steps you've taken, so they aremore accuratethan older pedometers.

Use your phone to track your steps

It's no secret that most of us carry our phones with us throughout the day. Smartphones make it easy to track distance traveled and daily steps.

How does a pedometer help people achieve their fitness goals? - Pre-workout guidance (1)
How does a pedometer help people achieve their fitness goals? - Pre-workout guidance (2)

If you have your phone in your pocket, you can track the distance covered throughout the day. This is probably more convenient than having a separate pedometer. I really like tracking my walking distance over time. This summer I enjoyed trying to increase my daily walking distance by more than 7 miles a day.

How do pedometers help people reach their goals?

So you might be thinking, just because someone has a device that tracks their steps doesn't mean they'll suddenly reach their fitness goals. However, there are some important benefits of using pedometers that we will delve into.

Activity Level Tracking

We've found that if you ask most people how much they move during the day, they drastically overestimate or underestimate, or simply have no idea. When you start tracking your daily activity level, you at least have a baseline to know where you're starting from.

If your goal is to lose weight, moving more throughout the day will help you burn more calories and lose fat. A pedometer is a great way to keep track of how much you're moving and monitor your progress over time.

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With that data, you can have a hard-to-monitor number that will show you if you really are moving more. When many people start going to the gym, they often think that since they "worked out" at some point in the day, they don't need to work out for the rest of the day. If your daily step count keeps dropping even when you think you're exercising more, you're probably not making any weight loss progress.

Motivation to walk more

I also think that, in addition to being an objective measure of daily activity, pedometers can be a great source of motivation. For example, let's say you've just started tracking your steps. You'll find that your daily steps are usually around 5,000. Having this number can be motivating to move a little more.

So you walk 5,000 steps a day the first week, 6,000 the second week, and gradually increase your daily energy expenditure over time. Over time, you may find that you're consistently taking 10,000+ steps a day, just because you realized you could push yourself a little harder and walk a little further.

Walk 10,000 steps a day

In the early 1960s, Japan was preparing to host the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. There was a wider movement in Japan to raise awareness of the importance of physical fitness and increase activity levels.

The 10,000-step goal isn't perfect. If someone currently walks very little, the 10,000 step goal can be overwhelming. However, increasing your steps from where you started will likely be beneficial to your overall health.

Em 2010,a study of 60,000 corporate workers in 55 countriesfound that after eight months of aiming for 10,000 steps a day, 67% of participants reported an increase in energy levels and fitness. They also lost an average of 10 pounds (about 4.5 kg) each just by walking, and many also lowered their blood pressure.

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Benefits of 10,000 steps a day

Hiking is one of my favorite activities. My daily goal is 10,000 steps, but I often find myself going way beyond that goal. It's easy to walk a long way day after day without accumulating fatigue or pain. Running, on the other hand, tires you out more quickly, and so your body tends to compensate by burning less energy for the rest of the day.

Increased energy levels

When you move more deliberately, you will find that your energy levels can improve a lot. Moving objects tend to stay in motion. I've found that if I'm feeling sluggish or lethargic during the day, going for a walk can help energize me.

This benefit can be especially helpful for anyone trying to lose weight and hit the gym. If going to the gym seems daunting or overwhelming, try going for a walk to get your body moving and build momentum.

Relaxation

Walking is relaxing. The more you walk, the more relaxed you feel. I've found that if I'm having a particularly stressful day at work or with my family, I can just take a little break and go for a walk. The combination of body movement, sun exposure, and the mental break that walking provides helps me relax.

Exercise is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body. Because walking is relatively low-impact and low-stress compared to high-intensity training, you can do it several times throughout the day to maximize the relaxation benefits.

a sense of accomplishment

If you're someone who has historically lived a sedentary lifestyle, even hitting a new step record in one day can give you a great sense of accomplishment.

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Setting a daily goal to achieve can help build confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment. I have found that this helps build momentum forbuilding a healthy exercise habitand routine

improved blood pressure

Staying active can help keep high blood pressure under control. Exercise reduces the stiffness of blood vessels so that blood flows more easily. The effects of low blood pressure can be most significant right after exercise.

Additionally, regular exercise can help improve your cardiovascular fitness. This means your heart gets stronger and can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the forces on the arteries decrease, which lowers blood pressure.

better weight control

currently finished40% of adultsin the United States are struggling with obesity. clearly we have aweight problemin the United States. This is due to chronic overeating combined with sedentary lifestyles. Walking helps you burn more calories throughout the day, which can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Plus, if you know you need to get up and walk 10,000 steps, you can start making healthier lifestyle choices to make walking easier.

More sun exposure

One of the biggest benefits I've gained from walking more than 10,000 steps a day is getting out more and getting more sun. Most of the western world suffers from a chronic shortage of vitamin D. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it helps your body make vitamin D from cholesterol.

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Another benefit of getting outside and walking during the day is better sleep quality. Sunlight can help regulate your body's sleep cycle by regulating melatonin production.

Videos

1. I walked 10,000 steps a day for 30 days
(Matt D'Avella)
2. How To Heal Yourself 2023 Full Audio Book (Heal Yourself Naturally)
(Sam Siv)
3. The Impact of Exercise on Cognitive Functioning
(University of California Television (UCTV))
4. Best Step Tracker 2022 | Top 5 Step Trackers
(SOLVER)
5. Great Traveling Workouts: Stay in Shape While Traveling (Hotel Edition)
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6. Physical Activity Guidelines
(Good Shepherd Health Care System)

References

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