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Take your pedometer for a walk to boost fitness and gain incentive

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Pedometer based walking is a great way to track progress with walking and boost your fitness level. Even more importantly, studies show that using a pedometer during walking can provide incentive to increase your distance, leading to greater weight loss over time. Finding exercise incentive is an obstacle to most of us.

Increasing your steps, measured with your pedometer, motivates physical activity. According to conclusions of a study published July 2007 in JAMA, “The results suggest that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and significant decreases in body mass index and blood pressure. Whether these changes are durable over the long term is undetermined.”

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A pedometer is inexpensive, and a great motivator. Create a personal challenge, or engage a friend to see how many steps you can increase with walking over a set period of time. Give a favorite treat after you meet your short term goal. Over a period of months, using a pedometer can lead to more weight loss than sticking to the same routine, while providing measureable progress.

Another study, published in 2008 showed that using a pedometer results in 5 pounds weight loss annually – though it may not seem like much, putting on pounds takes time and occurs over years as we age. Taking off 5 pounds is still worthwhile. Combined with dieting, weight loss can be greater. For the study, pedometer based walking produced weight loss without dieting at all, and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Take your pedometer for walk. The findings that pedometer based walking can lead to better health and weight loss are not new, but the simple intervention is often overlooked. Increasing your walking steps and measuring the progress can burn more calories, and motivate the entire family, including children. Walking 100 steps a minute is considered moderate exercise and can be easy to monitor using a pedometer that also provides the incentive to keep on walking.