Fitness monitors with built-in sensors are all the rage this year, and new research supports the claim that these devices can improve your health. According to a new study reported in Family Circle Magazine, folks are losing an average of 2.5 pounds over the course of 12 weeks by simply tracking their steps.
The study found that people who usually sit for the majority of the day became more active once they started wearing a pedometer. Researchers believe that this occurs largely because the pedometer provides concrete proof of how sedentary the subjects truly were day in and day out. With this measurable number available, folks find themselves more likely to walk down the hall every 30 minutes or to find other ways to increase their daily steps.
The Power of a Daily Goal
The pedometer is strong evidence that having a daily goal and being able to see how you are measuring up seems to keep folks motivated to take more steps. Fitness monitors that automatically sync with smart phones are especially popular, but even a good old-fashioned pedometer will do the trick.
So what’s a good goal to have? 10,000 steps a day is approximately four miles – which is an ideal fitness goal and a good number to strive for if you are using a pedometer to lose weight. I know that sounds like a lot, but you might be surprised how quickly your steps add up throughout the course of a day. Even 7,000 steps can have huge health benefits, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Choosing the Right Pedometer
So, if you or a loved one is looking to shed a few pounds without starting some rigorous routine, try using a pedometer and watch how your activity increases. A standard pedometer counts steps based on movement of your stride and the weight that you program into the pedometer. It will typically calculate calories burned as well. Newer pedometers can calculate additional information, such as distance and speed using GPS technology – statistics that are more applicable for runners and bikers. Prices can range from $3 to $300 depending on how advanced you want to get with features.
If you are a member of consumer reports, you might want to check out their pedometer buying guide to see which pedometer might be right for you and your needs. The guide even discusses cell phone applications that use the GPS navigation on your smart phone to track your steps. These applications seem to be the cheapest pedometers on the market, and aside from the app itself, no extra equipment is required.
Information taken from: Family Circle Magazine, January 2014
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