Yes, the ideal scenario would be to go to the gym three or four times a week and maybe do some running or fast walking outside. But I’m not going to. I don’t have time and I don’t have the desire – at least not at this point in my life.
So I came up with a solution that’s better than nothing. I wear a pedometer. I’ve been wearing a pedometer for a long time! And the thing is, when I wear the pedometer, I move more than when I don’t. It’s like magic.
Without the pedometer, I might have sent the kids out to get the mail. But when I wear the pedometer, I want to go because I get more steps. When I might have driven over to my kids’ house across the street (it’s not like you’re picturing – it’s a bit more complicated), I walk so I can get more steps. Seriously, knowing I get credit for every step I take makes me want to take more. So I do.
I keep a journal sheet in my bedroom drawer where every morning I record my weight and my daily steps. Using the log, I figured out I average about 6,000 steps a day. Recently I decided it was time to get more active so I set a goal to increase my steps by 2,000 a day (2,000 steps is approximately a mile). For the last week-and-a-half I’ve met or exceeded my goal. A couple of times I had to do some walking in place or extra walking around the house to accomplish it. But I did it. And that means that, even though I’m not going to the gym or running outside, I’m being more active.
So if you’ve given up on trying to fit in exercise or motivate yourself to do it, maybe a pedometer is the answer. Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods – stores like that have a few pedometers available in the store. If you want something nicer or with more bells and whistles, your best bet is to order on-line. My daughter recently got this high-tech Fitbit Pedometer for $59.95 from Amazon.com:
My pedometer is made by Digiwalker and sells for $22.95. All it does is count steps:
After you get your pedometer, here’s how to get started:
1. Set it up using the instructions. It’s not hard but you have to determine your stride so it will be more accurate.
2. Wear your pedometer all day, every day.
3. At the end of each day, or the beginning of the next day, record how many steps you got for the day. Then clear the pedometer.
4. At the end of a week, figure your daily average.
5. Now that you know your daily average, either set a specific goal to shoot for or just try to get a higher number each day. The recommended daily number of steps to shoot for (eventually) is 10,000.
In case you’re a bit OCD like me and you want to see how accurate your pedometer is, you might be disappointed. I’ve walked in place and counted my steps and then checked to see if the pedometer matched. It rarely matched exactly. There are a lot of reasons for that – placement of the pedometer, how you walk, etc. But you’re not going for exact, you’re going for the average. It’s close enough so don’t worry about it.
So if you don’t have time or the desire to exercise, pick up a pedometer and start being more active!
Do you wear a pedometer? Do you think a pedometer could help you become more active and relieve your guilt at not having a “real” exercise program?