Getting Started With Your Pedometer


Getting Started with Your Pedometer

Physical activity, like walking, is one of the best ways to start controlling your blood sugar levels. Using a pedometer — a small, lightweight device that can be clipped to your belt or waistband — is the best way to keep track of the number of steps you take each day. Pedometers don't only count steps, but they can keep track of the distance you walk each day and count the calories you burn. Once you start using a pedometer and you have an idea of the number of steps you take each day, you can change your daily routine to add more steps for a healthier, more active lifestyle.

How many steps should I be taking each day?

Experts recommend that healthy adults take at least 10,000 steps per day, which is comparable to the Surgeon General's 30 minutes of exercise per day recommendation. While 10,000 steps per day is the ultimate goal, steady progress increasing your number of steps week by week is the way to go. Anything you can do to increase the number of steps you take in a day will have a positive effect on your health.

I'm ready to use my pedometer. Now what?

If you're ready to take your first step with your new gadget, we're ready to help you get started. Guidelines for using a pedometer are really quite simple. It's only a small change to your regular day. Here are a few easy tips to get you going:

1.Put on your pedometer first thing in the morning and take it off last thing at night.

2.The general rule is to clip your pedometer to your belt or waistband in line with your knee, just above your hip, keeping the pedometer as level as possible. Pedometers usually need to be parallel to the ground to work correctly and display the most accurate reading.

3.Pedometers work best when walking on regular ground. Keep in mind that a pedometer cannot tell the difference between walking up a hill or on flat ground. It's also less accurate on gym equipment, only somewhat accurate on a treadmill, and completely inaccurate on a bicycle.

4.Record your steps each day in a journal to keep track of your progress.

What if I don't take 10,000 steps in a day?

You will see benefits from just small increases in your daily step counts. Having the numbers right in front of you can be the inspiration you need to take the stairs instead of the elevator, be ok with parking further away at the grocery store, and walking to your co-workers cubicle rather than sending an instant message. And remember, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so be patient with yourself.

Each individual is different, so remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

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Last Modified Date: July 09, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.
  1. American Family Physician. Pedometer Use Leads to Increased Physical Activity. (Accessed February 24, 2010).
  2. Shape Up America! Wearing A Pedometer Can Change Your Life – Here's How. (Accessed February 24, 2010).

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