Something about seeing how many steps you've taken in a day can really motivate you to increase your movement. And many of today's fitness trackers do even more than simply record your steps. Some of them can give you a notification if you've been sedentary for too long, track your sleep quality and time, and monitor your heart rate.
What Is a Pedometer?
Pedometers are electronic devices that you clip to your clothing or wear in the form of a watch or armband. Basic pedometers can be programmed to your specific average step length, and they will keep track of how much you walk daily. Some will also give you an estimate of how many calories you have burned that day.
Why Are Pedometers Important?
Many experts recommend that the average person strive to take at least 10,000 steps per day. Studies have shown that people who do so experience weight loss, less illness, and more energy (Brenda Rooney, 2003).
It can be difficult to ensure that you've taken the desired number of steps per day if you don't have a way to track them. Wearing a pedometer allows you to see how much walking you're doing so you can bump it up if necessary.
Wearing a pedometer and having a step-per-day goal has been shown to increase the amount of walking that people do (Sebely Pal, 2009). It seems that just seeing what you have or haven't done each day can be highly motivating to do more activity. After all, while you may be able to fool yourself about how many steps you've taken, it's impossible to fool the pedometer.
What About Fancy Fitness Trackers?
There are a host of wearable fitness trackers that can be linked to apps on your phone, tablet, or computer. The trackers have varying abilities to record not only your steps but also other physical information such as your heart rate, sleep amount and quality, and calories burned.
Having access to some of this additional information can further aid you in reaching your fitness and weight loss goals. For example, keeping your heart rate between 50% and 85% of your maximum heart rate for at least 10 minutes counts for aerobic exercise, which is great for heart health and weight loss.
Getting adequate rest can also help you lose weight faster, and a fitness tracker that points out that you aren't getting it, prompting you to hit the hay a bit earlier, can be quite valuable.
Fitness trackers can also be set to wake you gently in the morning by vibrating, give you warnings if you've been sedentary for too long, and alert you when you've hit certain set goals.
So, for those who want additional information to help them on their fitness journey, we love this tracker: Fitbit Charge HR.
But even a basic pedometer can be great motivation, and you can get one free with the purchase of any weight loss supplement here on HealthCompany.com.
Check out "18 Proven Weight Loss Tips" for more science-based weight loss information.
- Brenda Rooney, P. K. (2003). Is Knowing Enough? Increasing Physical Activity by Wearing a Pedometer. Retrieved from researchgate.net.
- Sebely Pal, C. C. (2009, April 2). Using pedometers to increase physical activity in overweight and obese women: a pilot study. Retrieved from BioMed Central: DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-309.