Walking also has numerous reported health benefits: it lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure, effectively shrinks the waistline, reduces the likelihood of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and helps fight stress and depression.
Ok, you probably already believe that walking is good for you. But what is so special about pedometer walking?
Why Pedometer Walking Is So Effective
Everyone knows how hard it can be to change your lifestyle for the better. Researchers know that too, but they have also found out that measuring your daily steps with a pedometer is an effective way to increase physical activity. One study concluded that pedometer users walked an additional mile compared with walkers who didn’t use pedometers.
There is one reservation though: you have to set step goals and record your daily steps for this to work. Just carrying your pedometer with you isn’t enough.
There are many reasons why pedometers are so effective.
According to researcher Catrina Tudor-Locke, one reason is that pedometers are simple to set up and use. I can’t but agree with Tudor Locke, especially when you compare pedometers with heart rate monitors. It took me 3 hours to learn how to use my first heart rate monitor, while it took me perhaps 20 minutes to make my pedometer ready to use.
Another reason is that pedometers are inexpensive. You can get accurate pedometers starting as low as $20. You don’t always have to spend hundreds of dollars to own a good fitness gadget! (It’s easy to find cheap pedometers, but I wouldn’t bother with them).
The last and perhaps the most important reason for their effectiveness it that pedometers give you immediate and understandable feedback on your activity or inactivity. Even my 4-year old niece had no difficulty understanding how my pedometer works and my reasons for using it. She actually used it to argue I should get up form the sofa and play with her!
I want to mention one more advantage of using pedometers: even if you don’t have time for long stretches of “formal” exercise during the day, it’s pretty easy to sneak physical activity into your day and still be able to monitor your progress.
In other words, pedometers are effective motivators.
Personally, I think of my pedometer as a personal pacesetter. Every morning I wear my pedometer around my neck and start chasing my daily step goal. 🙂
P.S. If you consider pedometer walking, do yourself a favor – get a good pedometer!