How to Buy a Pedometer – 3 Tips to Finding the Best Pedometer for Your Fitness Goals – The pedometer, or step counter, has become quite popular in recent years. Fitness experts agree that walking 10,000 steps a day can promote weight loss, and recommend walking a minimum of 6,000 steps a day for better overall health. If you’ve made the decision to lose weight and improve your fitness by logging more footsteps on a regular basis, a good pedometer can serve as a key element of your exercise program.
What these devices do is simple: they count your footsteps by sensing your body’s motion. You won’t have to guess how many footsteps you’ve accumulated during the day. A step counter readily displays this information, keeping you on target for your daily walking goal.
Here are three things to consider before you purchase a step counter.
1) Essential features
Even the most basic unit will measure your footsteps and the distance you’ve traveled. For your purposes (and your budget), this might be sufficient.
But some units offer additional, useful features. You can get an estimate of calories burned during the day’s walking rounds. You can even purchase one that uses GPS technology to more accurately track your speed and distance traveled.
Other units include a pulse rate monitor, which can be useful for gauging when you’re walking in your target heart rate zone. Some also have memory capabilities, enabling them to chart your walking activity throughout the week, data which you can then upload to your computer and use to track your progress over time.
Think about the features you’ll be most likely to benefit from, and go from there.
A cheap pedometer that gives inaccurate readings is of no use to anyone. Typically, an inexpensive model will utilize a hairspring mechanism to measure your footsteps. These are prone to under-counting or over-counting steps.
For best results, look for models that use a coiled spring mechanism, or a piezoelectric accelerometer. Omron and Yamax are two manufacturers known for producing highly accurate and reasonably priced step counters.
3) Wearing it
You’ll have to wear your pedometer all day. It’s especially important that you find a unit that fits you comfortably and offers freedom of movement.
Typically, speed and distance monitors that utilize GPS will be worn on the wrist. Ordinary step and distance counters can be placed in your pocket, or clipped to your belt or bra– anywhere that will keep the unit positioned perpendicular to the ground.
Be sure to look for a step counter that includes a security leash, too, as an extra precaution against loss.
With all of these key points in mind, you’ll be certain to find the pedometer that best complements your lifestyle and helps you achieve your daily fitness goals.