Using a Step Counter to Count Steps

Step Counter

For almost everyone, walking is without doubt, one of the easiest form of exercise that can help to improve our health, fitness and overall well-being. And using a step counter can be a good motivator to help keep us moving.

With a step counter, also know as a pedometer, one can measure the number of steps one walked, and is useful for those who want to analyse the distance and duration of the walk, monitor their fitness progress or keep track of the overall daily activity level.

Studies have shown that people who uses a step counter are also more motivated to exercise more and walk longer to cover more distance to burn more calories.

Find out which are the the best step counters here...

How to Step Count With a Pedometer

Before you can use a pedometer to count your steps, you need to set it. To do this, you must measure your average step length or average stride length. Step length refers to the distance traveled forward by a single leg and is measured by the distance from the heel print of one foot to the heel print of the other foot.

Stride length refers to the distance traveled by the heel of one foot to the next time that same foot strikes down - which means two steps. Hence, it is important that you read the instruction manual before you enter the measurements.

Once you have set the pedometer correctly, you need to know where to wear it to optimize its accuracy. Depending on the model you buy, most standard pedometers requires you to clip it to the waistband or belt however the Omron step counters allows you to put it in your pocket or bag as you walk.

How Many Steps a Day Should One Walk?

Many health experts recommended that people should walk 10,000 steps every day (about 5 miles / 8 kilometers) to improve their health, prolong life, promote healthy bones as well as manage a healthy body weight.

While walking 10,000 steps daily might seem a lot initally, doctors have recommended that one should first start walking according to their level of fitness and slowly increase their average daily steps each week by 500 per day until they can reach the 10,000 steps per day goal. Walking or running 10,000 steps is equivalent to approximately 20 to 30 minutes of workout or 300 to 400 calories burned per day.

Benefits of Step Counting

Step counting helps you to have a clear sense of your toal activity level per day - and is useful in motivating you to walk towards a specific fitness goal.

Research shows that adding 5,000 more steps a day can greatly reduce the risks of chronic diseases. People who carry a pocket pedometer with them tend to find the time to walk more too. Those who are more active and can also step count when jogging. Since jogging is a cardiovascular activity, it reduces the risks of heart disease and obesity.

10,000 Steps a Day Challenge

The 10,000 steps a day challenge has become increasingly popular amongst both men and women since it was first originally popularized in Japan. Not only does it improve overall health, it is also an excellent weight loss program. This challenge is also a great way for families to get together and encourage each other to workout.

Begin the challenge by walking your normal routine for a week and record your total daily steps with a step counter. If you are not an active person, then it is highly unlikely that your total daily steps will be close to 10,000. The average sedentary person only walks 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. What you can do is to increase your daily steps by 100 to 500 steps a day. You can add more steps with simple activities like:

  • Taking the stairs instead of using the elevator
  • Walking to do your errands instead of taking the car
  • Take a stroll in the park with your dog or offer to walk your friend's dog

Continue until you get closer to the 10,000-step goal. Once you achieve your goal, you will realize that walking 10,000 steps is not at all difficult!

How Step Counters Can Help You

A step counter or pedometer can help rev-up your fat burning exercise. As you check your step counts, you will also be reminded to walk extra steps and encouraged to add more movement to become more active.

In fact in a study by Stanford Univertsity, it was found that people who used step counters resulted in an average increase in step activity of 2000 steps a day, about 1 mile.

At the end of the day, your step counter is a great tool to monitor the effects of your training, establish ways to improve your walking program as well as to help motivate you to walk 10,000 steps a day!