A pedometer is a small, portable device that measures how many steps you take. It's a great way not only to monitor your activity and exercise, but also to motivate you to move even more. Count your average number of steps in a day, then give yourself increasing goals for added fitness and more weight loss.
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To achieve your exercise goals and make your pedometer as effective as possible, you should know how and where to wear it. If you wear it the wrong way, it can give you an inaccurate count of your steps.
Hook it to your hips. Pedometers come with a little clip on the back so that they can be easily attached to your clothing. Whether you're wearing pants, shorts or a belt, hook the pedometer to your waistband. Make sure that it's placed at your hip, directly beneath your armpit.
Don't hook the pedometer to the front or back of your pants, on your shoe or inside your pants pocket. You won't get an accurate reading if you place the pedometer in any of these spots.
Make sure that the pedometer is attached correctly, with the numbers facing up, and hooked straight down onto your pants. If the pedometer is crooked, tilted or pointed in the wrong direction, your results won't be accurate. Be sure that you always wear the pedometer on the same side of your body each time so that your results are consistent.
Test the pedometer to be sure it's accurate. Set the pedometer to zero, and walk at least 50 steps, counting your steps. Make sure that the reading is no more than two steps off your count. If it's off, reposition the pedometer and try it again.
Record your results. At the end of your day when you take the pedometer off of your waistband, record how many steps you took in a little notebook or on a computer spreadsheet.
Know how much you're moving. If you're walking 2,000 steps per day, that's about a mile. You can walk much more than that by changing a few simple things in your daily routine and by making a more concentrated effort to be more active. Set goals to slowly increase your steps—an increase of 500 steps per day each week is a good, realistic goal.
Increase your steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a short walk a few times a day on breaks at work, and park at the far end of the parking lot. Plan a daily after-dinner walk with a friend or your partner, or do some house cleaning. Each step counts as exercise, and it's another step toward better health.