- Exercise & Fitness
The Perks of Pedometer Walking
My Birthday Gift is Good for My Health: An Omron Pedometer
I have recently received an Omron GoSmart pedometer as a birthday gift. I am thrilled with the results and have noticed many positives about using a pedometer in my everyday life. About 15 years ago I had used a few different pedometers and enjoyed challenging myself to add more steps to my daily routine. But the downside was that sometimes the pedometers would come loose from my clothing and once that happens, the pedometer would stop counting steps until it was securely attached again. I found that very frustrating and after using three different pedometers in a one year period, just stopped altogether.
Then last Spring I met a woman on a cruise ship who was using a pedometer but carrying it in her evening purse. I was very surprised at this and told her about my history of pedometer use. She told me the newer ones are much more accurate and the clips are stronger so stay on people's clothing better. She also said that the Omron one she was using can be carried in a pocket or purse and would still count steps. This sounded quite exciting to me and renewed my enthusiasm for using pedometers. I immediately asked my dear husband for one for my birthday ( July 27th) and I have been using it ever since.
The Details of Pedometer Walking
Along with the Omron pedometer, I was given a book about pedometer walking. I have found this very useful regarding how to get the most out of my pedometer experience. I discovered that most people only walk an average of 3,500 - 5,000 steps per day. To maintain one's weight and stay healthy, it is recommended by walking experts that one walks 10,000 steps per day. And to lose weight, one should take between 12,000 - 15,000 steps per day. That's a lot of steps for someone to walk if they have a baseline of 3,500 - 5,000. The Omron GoSmart pedometer keeps track of steps walked, aerobic steps walked, calories burned and miles walked throughout the day.
The Walking Book
The walking book recommended that people just starting off with their pedometers take one week to check their step baseline of how many steps they walk per day. Then add a 20% increase in steps each week until they reach their goal. I was in a hurry because I have been unsuccessfully dieting for the past month and I really want to lose weight. So, I went against the recommendations and only took two days to find my step baseline. My average number of steps was 4,500 per day. And I am quite grateful to my dog for loving the daily walks I take her on. She is a great incentive for me to get out and walk because without her, I would be down to about the 3,000 daily steps range and that's quite depressing.
At the 20% increase, I would have to add about 900 steps per day. That would have been a minimum of 900 extra steps every day for a week before I could move up to my next step increase. It would have taken me about six weeks if I wanted to just get to the healthy amount of daily steps, and a few weeks longer to reach the weight loss amount. No thanks, I don't have the patience for that. I gave myself three days to get to the 8,000 daily steps, three days to reach the 9,000 step mark, and I am currently giving myself five days to get to the 10,000 daily steps mark. After that my goal will be to just increase my steps daily until I can reach 12,000 steps per day.
Tips to Better Pedometer Walking
You may be wondering how I can possibly increase my daily steps that much? It's actually not that hard because I have learned some interesting things about myself this week including:
* I waste a LOT of time sitting around when I could be moving. Times that I see myself wasting steps the most is while waiting for a cup of coffee to reheat in the microwave, standing around waiting for my dog to go outside to relieve herself, waiting for family members to be ready to go somewhere. I now add steps into my day while waiting for these things and it has increased my numbers quite quickly.
* I'm so happy that I have a dog to walk. She enjoys our walks so much that even if I don't feel like walking, I do it anyway so I can increase my steps AND make my dog happy in the process.
* I read in the walking book that one way to increase steps is to walk faster in the same amount of time. It's a great way to squeeze in extra steps and get an aerobic workout in as well. So my steps on my walk with the dog are very quick so I can get in an aerobic workout and burn extra calories as well. This is good for my heart and my waistline.
The Perks of my New Pedometer Include:
* I feel already as though I am toning up. My waist is firming up, and I can tell this when I button my pants. I can also tell I am firming in other areas as well.
* I love a challenge so walking with a pedometer helps me continually challenge myself each day to walk my goal number of steps and take care of my body as well.
* Walking is one of the best forms of exercise because it doesn't leave me with sore muscles, or pulled hamstrings and is something anyone can start at any age. ( Check with your doctor first to be on the safe side though).
* Pedometer walking is actually fun. I like finding new ways to take more steps and make my time more useful than sitting around watching TV on my butt all day.
* Shopping makes me take more steps and I love to shop! I went on a shopping trip to Kohl's this week and added extra steps effortlessly that day! I am sure grocery shopping will also do the trick.
* By adding extra steps with a pedometer, I can say good bye to the D word ( diet) and just watch what I eat and use the walking as a tool to lose weight. But no more official diets!
* Unlike yoga which I would like but my husband doesn't like but I do, and biking, which I don't like but my husband does, walking together is an activity my husband and I can share. And the extra steps for me are also good for him!
* So I don't get bored I am finding new places to walk. Hiking counts, so I took the dog to a state park I hadn't taken her to before and stopped to take beautiful pictures. I have also been noticing more sights around me as I walk and am enjoying the neighborhood more. So this is a good stress reliever. ( See pictures below)
This year, my favorite birthday gift is my pedometer which is not only good for my health, but a fun and challenging way to stay in shape and live a longer and healthier life.
Try an Omron Pedometer Yourself!
My Pedometer Progress
Number of Steps Walked
Avg. Steps Walked Per Day
Number of Miles Walked
Number of Calories Burned
#1 7/30 - 8/05/13
#2 8/6 - 8/11/13