Using Your Pedometer

Walking is one of the best exercises there is. It is not hard on the back or knees for most people and does not require ultimate fitness to get started. Unlike many sports, it is basically non-competitive; unless you are walking against yourself. The main questions for a walker are:
  • How am I doing?
  • Am I getting the most out of this exercise?
  • In fact, how DO I get the most out of this exercise?
The best answer to all of these inquiries is: A pedometer. The pedometer works with you as you walk. The good ones register your steps, your distance, your walking calories burned and your elapsed time for the walk. I walk three times a week or more. I walk 3-4 miles per day. When I first started I was recovering from a very serious illness and was so far out of shape that one block left me exhausted. As I recovered I stretched the walk out more and more. I can’t tell you how great it made me feel. It brought to me a sense of independence and offered me goals to reach as I got better. At one point I was guessing how far I walked each time. It had not yet occurred to me that a pedometer, something I was not acquainted with, could help me greatly achieve my goals. The distance I was walking seemed to be a mile a day but I could not be sure. This is when I realized that I needed to quantify my progress so I purchased a pedometer for the first time. I can’t tell you how surprised I was that I hadn’t walked a mile yet. The first time I put the pedometer on I walked my normal distance and le and behold, it was just 6/10ths of a mile. Here’s the thing. I didn’t know what my stride length was. I didn’t know if I was walking quickly enough to actually burn off the ice cream weight I had put on. And, I had no idea how far I was walking. These points matter if you’re doing what I was doing and trying to get well and in shape. If you have weight you want to lose the calories matter and are significant. The other fact of this is that if you are, like me, older and not in shape when you start, you want to monitor your expenditures in a realistic manner. Even if you are a young person it is good to keep at least a mental record and the pedometer does this for you. (of course, you do have to write it down if you can’t remember. Especially when you first start your regimen. It is said that the ideal speed to walk is 3 mph. The easiest way to find out if you are walking that quickly is the pedometers timer. It starts when the pedometer records your first steps (usually a pedometer allows you a few steps before measuring the first step.) A simple division of miles walked by your time gives you your mph. My average is 2.85 so I am close. Always remen=ber that your time is influenced by factors of terrain and unforeseen obstacles and that most people, unless on a track) need to average their times over several walks. The faster you walk the more calories you burn. When I started my regimen in 2013 I weighed 130 pounds straight out of the hospital. Within a couple of years, I had eaten enough ice cream to claim it as an addiction and weighed 193 pounds. I am now at 175 pounds and have put back on the muscle in my legs which I had lost from 3 months in the hospital. The only reason I mention my story is to encourage those of you who don’t think you can do it. You can but don’t let anyone tell you that there are set rules of speed or distance. It is strictly, and I can’t emphasize this enough, no reason not to start slowly and work slowly to gain confidence and strength. No one should be injured from walking if they are using their innate common sense. Walking should be fun and peaceful. If it isn’t then you should stop and reassess your goals. Buy either of the two pedometers I have mentioned here or join and give us your reviews. It would be great to have members join to post their knowledge and experience also. Joining is very easy and costs nothing. You merely need to register and follow the email’s directions. I hope that many of you will take me up on this and all of us will be better for your membership.

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