Do Pedometers Really Get You Moving?

Fitness gadgets are all the rage these days, and with so many to choose from, do you really think something as small as a pedometer will affect your overall health? The research is pointing to yes.

Included among the features in many newer smart phones is a built-in pedometer. A small gadget or an app that counts your steps is a novel idea, but how does it really get you up and moving? Well, the answer is simple. It’s a motivational tool that’s always there, reminding you to keep moving. And if you have even an inch of competitiveness in your body, you’re going to want to reach (and even exceed) that goal each day.

Simply start by setting a goal of walking 10,000 steps each day, which equals approximately 5 miles. Yes, it sounds like a lot and if you’re not there yet, keep track of how many steps you are taking and try to increase the amount each day. You’ll find that eventually you can easily walk the 10,000 steps without even trying because of certain habits that have evolved over time.

Take the Step Challenge with us!
A few times a year we offer a step challenge to encourage healthier habits. Its free to enter, plus there are some pretty great prizes. The next one will start in February so get ready to step it up! If you can find a friend to participate with you, it makes it easier because you have someone you’re accountable to.

Easy ways to contribute to the 10,000 step goal
– Clean the house: I recently clocked over 6,000 steps just by cleaning my house and garage
– Park further from the store
– Take the stairs instead of the elevator
– Break it up by taking 3 power walks throughout the day
– Invite a friend for a walking lunch date
– Pace while on the phone or watching tv
– And the most obvious choice – get out and go for a walk!

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting the right pedometer, you can begin with something simple like an app that you download on your phone. The downside to using an app is that you have to have your phone with you at all times to track your steps. The Fitbit is also a great choice, and recommended by many of our therapists. Because it’s worn on your wrist, it’s a constant reminder to get up and walk around. Fitbit also makes it easy to see how close or far away you are from your daily goal.

Benefits of walking include
– Regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, lower blood pressure, and higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol than couch sitters do
– Lower chances of diabetes
– Burn calories
– Reduced stress, increased energy levels, and a better mood all the way around
– Boosts your immune system
– Strengthens your bones
– Improves your balance and coordination

Walking is an easy and inexpensive way to help you get in shape, and it can be fun if you invite a friend. If you really want to dig in and make the most out of your walks, we offer gait analysis tests that will check your stride and form, orthotics that will help with balance and comfort, and personal training sessions to establish a routine just for you. But the most important thing to remember is to get up and walk.

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