A pedometer can be defined as a footstep meter, that is designed to measure the number of steps one takes by detecting motion. It will measure the number of steps as long as one wears it. This instrument is not just for athletes or sportspersons, but for anyone who wants to be fit. Moreover, it is a good fitness investment.
Choosing a Pedometer
All pedometers aren't the same. There are two categories; basic which are inexpensive and fancy (or highly scientific) which are expensive. The difference is that a simple one may measure only the number of steps, whereas the fancier ones measure number of steps, calories burned, heart rate, miles covered, etc.
Whatever be the model, the basic working mechanism of these devices remains the same. They count the number of electronic pulses each time a step is taken, and multiply those by one's pre-programmed step length.
Measuring One's Stride
There can be various ways to measure the stride. However, a simple yet effective method is as follows. Make a mark behind the right heel, then walk a distance of 10 steps and stop where the right heel ends. Divide the distance covered by 10, and the length of the stride can be obtained.
However, one's stride might not be the same when one takes 10 steps to walk a longer distance. This is because most of one's walking would not be done in 10-step increments and therefore, it may not measure the step length accurately.
When and Where to Wear It
The instrument should be attached to the waistline, just halfway between the side and bellybutton. Make sure that it is line with the knee and in horizontal position, parallel to the ground. It can also be clipped to undergarments.
It is necessary to check whether it's at the right place or not by setting it to 0 and walking about 20 steps. Then, check the device. If it's showing the numbers between 19 to 21, one has positioned it at the right place. If not, again place the device properly and repeat the test.
This instrument should be worn from the moment one gets up, till the moment one goes to sleep. In this way, it would let one know the total number of steps walked in a day.
One can use it everyday. Go for a walk or sprint and check the distance covered. If one covers at least 10,000 steps a day, it's healthy. If one covers 5,000 to 7,000 steps, then that's still healthy. However, if the steps are less than 5,000, it's a bad sign, that is, that person is considered to be sedentary.
Walking is a healthy exercise that keeps one fit. So, if one does not cover a minimum of 5,000 steps a day, one could start taking staircases instead of elevators, stop using remote control of TV and instead walk to the TV and use the functions, move while one is on call, etc.
Tips for Using the Instrument
- Always attach the security strap.
- The instrument is not waterproof. Hence, avoid water.
- Record the steps daily.
- When riding a bike, attach it to the shoe, instead of the waistline.
- The instrument shouldn't be used in places of excess humidity, for example, saunas.
- Never subject it to shock or drop it from a height.
This instrument is a great way to help one stay fit and in turn, achieve their fitness goals. Moreover, it is a perfect fitness equipment, that is small, portable, and easy to use. Set a target on the number of steps that one wishes to achieve on a particular day, and gradually increase the target and improve one's fitness.
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.