Why a pedometer
Use a pedometer if you're having trouble with the "move more" component of the weight loss equation.
Also known as a step counter, this device keeps track of how many steps you take over the course of a day. It may be just what you need if your weight loss has stalled or has started climbing in the wrong direction!
Moving your body burns calories. Period. So it doesn't matter if the steps you take are all in a row (as in 15 or 30 minutes on a treadmill or a planned walk) or additive over the course of the day.
A study released by the American College of Sports Medicine (June 2004) revealed that participants who used these step counting devices added about 2,000 walking paces per day to their routine.
2000 steps equals ~ 1 mile.
Consider this too: you burn approximately 100 calories every mile.
To lose one pound of body fat you have to burn through 3500 calories.
Do the math
If you add an extra 2000 steps to your day (1 mile), you'll burn an extra 100 calories per day. Over the course of a year you'll burn 36,500 more calories. Remember 3,500 calories = 1 pound of body fat:
36,500 / 3500 = 10.4
to make sure you walk an extra 2000 steps per day could mean a 10 pound weight loss per year for you!
Remember the best part...
...the steps don't have to all be in a row...
Simply moving more over the course of the day adds up to mile(s) walked.
Now let's get crazy..
How about setting a goal of taking an extra 10,000 steps per day?!
That's approximately 5 miles you'd walk and 500 calories you'd burn...per day.
Commit to doing so every day for a week and now you're talking 1 pound of weight loss per week.
I even recommend recording the number of steps taken/day in your food and exercise journal for up to a month - just so you have a good record of exactly how much movement you average.
All step counters are not created equally. Many are inaccurate, especially at slow walking speeds. Be sure to check Amazon ratings before making a purchase.
How to properly wear a pedometer
If you've gone to the trouble to get one, you want to make sure you're using it properly! Make sure your step counter fits snugly on your belt or waistband. You don't want any wiggle and bounce.
(The cheaper models especially count motion as false steps. You're only fooling yourself if the pedometer says you moved 7 miles when you know that 3 of them were "wiggles.")
What a great tool to add to your weight loss "toolbox"...
...a pedometer. Strap it on and don't leave home without it!