Benefits of Using Pedometers for Training - Watches, Apps, Clip-ons

© janderson99-HubPages

A pedometer is a tiny clip-on device that monitors the number of steps you take throughout and exercise routine or your daily activities.

Most dedicated pedometer devices are quite small (similar to the size of a matchbox) and are attached to the waist of your pants or to your running top.

Certain watches have pedometer functions built into them and there are many iPhone and Android apps that count your paces when walking or running . Each step you take when walking, or stride when running activates the counter in the pedometer, and a step or stride is added to your total. Wearing a pedometer can provide a simple way of tracking your activity level and can be an excellent tool for a weight loss program. Certain simple devices are designed only for walking but many can be used for jogging and running as well. The smartest one can measure your distance covered and your pace so they can estimate the number of calories burnt.

Pedometer are great for monitoring your pace and help you find your ideal pace
Pedometer are great for monitoring your pace and help you find your ideal pace | Source

Analyze How Active you are throughout the Day

Data form the National Institute on Aging in the US, suggest that most relatively inactive people ('slough potatoes') take between 2,000 and 5,000 steps in every 24 hours. This apples for office workers officers who only need to walk short distances to and from the bus or train stop to their building and desks where they spend long hours parked in front of their computer terminals. Research has shown that sitting down for long periods of time can reduce your overall life expectancy sue to a number of circulation, heart and metabolism problems ( See: How to be Active Sitting with Better Posture, Less Sitting Risks ).

Using a pedometer you can monitor how many steps you take throughout the day to set a baseline for your efforts to become more active. Short brisk walks, even for only 15 minutes can be very beneficial for your health. Increase levels of regular physical activity, in the form of simple walking or more elaborate exercise can help burn calories for a weight loss program.

Establish Goals to Increase Your Activity Levels

Initially you should aim to increase the number of steps you take to the range of 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. This is the threshold recommended by the National Institute on Aging. Next you should step up to the high-activity group category, in the range of 15,000 steps a day or more. You can use a pedometer and a plan to set yourself a goal and monitor how well you are progressing in meeting. There are number of excellent apps that can be used to set up plans and track your progress (See: Best Running Apps for iPhone, Android - Reviews, Guides, Coaching).

For example, if you start at a base level of 4,000 steps per day, you could set yourself a goal an extra 1,000 steps a week for an 4-week goal to get to 8,000 steps per day and another 1000 steps per fortnight to get to 10,000 steps a day. Most people do about 2,200 steps per mile or 1,340 steps per km and so this increase is equivalent to about 5 miles or 8 km. All you need to do is to record the number of steps when you go to bed and reset your pedometer each morning to keep track of your progress.

Using a Pedometer to Get Motivated, Get Moving and Keep to your Schedule

Tools that track your activity levels throughout the day, like a pedometer, can be used to get you moving. If you check your score throughout the day and at lunch time or when you leave work you can use it as a 'scare graph' to remind yourself - 'Hey its lunchtime already and I have only done 1400 steps of the 8000 I am supposed to be doing today'. Remember that you don't necessarily have to go for a formal 3 mile or 5 km walk or run to get back on track, you can simply take more frequent breaks and walk further at lunch time to try out an new restaurant. Or you could take the stairs rather than the lift - climbing the stairs has many additional health benefits. Pedometers are an excellent way of breaking out of training plateaus. They are also a good way of monitoring your interval training sessions.

Get Involved in More Structured Exercises such as Walking

You will find it very hard to achieve the recommended 10,000 steps per day during your normal sedentary job or lifestyle. A pedometer can encourage you build structured walks as exercise sessions throughout the day - perhaps at lunch time, or before and after work. Even 20 to 30 minutes on a structured walk each day is equivalent to 3,000 steps at moderate pace and one hour of walking is about 6,000 steps. This will match the 5 sessions of 30 minutes of exercise per week proposed by the American College of Sports Medicine to help stop weight gain in adults. You can also engage in various cross-exercise activities and add the equivalents to your daily step records. The table shown below summarises the step equivalents for a wide range of exercises for interval of 1 minute, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and one hour.

Using Various Watch Pedometers

You can monitor your steps, calories burned, distance travelled, and various other information with the variety of pedometer watches that are available. There are various levels of sophistication and most include a variety of sports watch functions such as time, stop-watch functions, alarms and countdown timers.

Extra Functions

Some pedometer and sports watches feature a pulse rate monitor, and some come with chest strap for monitoring your heart rate, or take it from your wrist pulse. Various other features are available.

Pedometer apps for iPhone and Android Smartphone

As mentioned previously there are a wide range of apps that include pedometer functions.

Calories Burnt When Walking

On average you burn about 2 calories per step. The summary below shows the number of calories burnt per minute for a simple range of exercises:

Running slowly ............=> 17.6 calories per minute
Walking Fast ................=> 8.5 calories per minute
Standing quietly........... => 2.5 calories per minute
Sitting or Lying Down.. => 2.0 calories per minute

Walking expends about 3-4 times more energy than sitting down and running 8 times as much energy.

Using a Pedometer for a Weight Loss Program

A pedometer is an excellent tool for a weight loss program that involves tracking your calorie deficit and weight. Your calorie deficit is the difference between calories burnt through exercise and calories eaten in food. Diets only work when you maintain a calorie deficit which can be monitored and graphed in combination with your daily weight records.

Step Equivalents of Common Exercise Activities

Activity
Steps per Minute
Steps per 15 Minutes
Steps per 30 Minutes
Steps per 60 Minutes
Walking slow 2 mph (3kph)
76
1137
2273
4546
Walking 3 mph (5 kph)
100
1500
3000
6000
Walking 4 mph (6 kph)
152
2273
4545
9090
Walking 5 mph (8kph)
242
3637
7273
14546
Racewalking
197
2955
5909
11818
Aerobic dance
197
2955
5909
11818
Backpacking
212
3182
6364
12728
Badminton
136
2046
4091
8182
Ballroom dancing fast
167
2500
5000
10000
Ballroom dancing slow
91
1364
2727
5454
Basketball shooting baskets
136
2046
4091
8182
Basketball game
242
3637
7273
14546
Bicycling
242
3637
7273
14546
Bicycling fast
364
5455
10909
21818
Bicycling under 10 mph (16kph)
121
1818
3636
7272
Billiards/pool
76
1137
2273
4546
Bowling
91
1364
2727
5454
Calistentics vigorous
242
3637
7273
14546
Calisthenics light to moderate
106
1591
3182
6364
Canoeing
106
1591
3182
6364
Children's playground games
136
2046
4091
8182
Circuit training
242
3637
7273
14546
Climbing rock or mountain
273
4091
8182
16364
Cooking
61
909
1818
3636
Croquet
76
1137
2273
4546
Fencing
182
2728
5455
10910
Fishing
91
1364
2727
5454
Football
242
3637
7273
14546
Frisbee
91
1364
2727
5454
Gardening
121
1818
3636
7272
Golf
136
2046
4091
8182
Gymnastics
121
1818
3636
7272
Handball
364
5455
10909
21818
Health club exercise, general
167
2500
5000
10000
Hiking
182
2728
5455
10910
Hiking orienteering
273
4091
8182
16364
Hockey field and ice
242
3637
7273
14546
Home/auto repair and shop tasks
91
1364
2727
5454
Horseback riding
121
1818
3636
7272
House cleaning
91
1364
2727
5454
Hunting
152
2273
4545
9090
Ice Skating
212
3182
6364
12728
Inline skating
364
5455
10909
21818
Jazzercise
182
2728
5455
10910
Jogging
212
3182
6364
12728
Jump rope
303
4546
9091
18182
Kayaking
152
2273
4545
9090
Kickball
212
3182
6364
12728
Lacrosse
242
3637
7273
14546
Lawn bowling, shuffleboard
91
1364
2727
5454
Lawn mowing
152
2273
4545
9090
Martial arts
303
4546
9091
18182
Minature golf
91
1364
2727
5454
Punching bag
182
2728
5455
10910
Raking lawn and leaves
121
1818
3636
7272
Raquetball
212
3182
6364
12728
Roller skating
212
3182
6364
12728
Rowing machine
212
3182
6364
12728
Rowing machine, vigorous
258
3864
7727
15454
Rugby
303
4546
9091
18182
Running 5 mph (8kph)
242
3637
7273
14546
Running 6 mph (9kph)
303
4546
9091
18182
Running 7 mph (11kph)
349
5228
10455
20910
Running 8 mph (13 kph)
409
6137
12273
24546
Sailing, boat and board, windsurfing
91
1364
2727
5454
Scuba diving
212
3182
6364
12728
Sitting
30
455
909
1818
Skateboarding
152
2273
4545
9090
Ski machine
212
3182
6364
12728
Skiing cross country
242
3637
7273
14546
Skiing down hills
182
2728
5455
10910
Sledding
212
3182
6364
12728
Snorkeling
152
2273
4545
9090
Snowmobiling
106
1591
3182
6364
Soccer
212
3182
6364
12728
Softball
152
2273
4545
9090
Square dancing
136
2046
4091
8182
Squash
364
5455
10909
21818
Stairmaster
273
4091
8182
16364
Stationary bicycling (moderate effort)
212
3182
6364
12728
Stationary bicycling (vigorous effort)
318
4773
9545
19090
Step aerobics
273
4091
8182
16364
Stretching, yoga
76
1137
2273
4546
Surfing
91
1364
2727
5454
Swimming laps moderate
212
3182
6364
12728
Swimming laps vigorous
303
4546
9091
18182
Swimming leisurely
182
2728
5455
10910
Table tennis
121
1818
3636
7272
Tai chi
121
1818
3636
7272
Tennis
212
3182
6364
12728
Volleyball
121
1818
3636
7272
Water aerobics
121
1818
3636
7272
Water jogging
242
3637
7273
14546
Water polo
303
4546
9091
18182
Lifting Weights, moderate effort
121
1818
3636
7272
Lifting Weights, vigorous effort
182
2728
5455
10910
Wrestling
182
2728
5455
10910
Yoga
76
1137
2273
4546

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© 2012 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 2 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Your chart rocks. Loaded with info, and I need to get a pedometer. Voted up and shared!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Great hub. Well written, good ideas, good charts, easy to understand.

Just right for those who are into these disciplines or would like to be.

Top votes

Bob

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