Choosing A Pedometer to Lose Weight

Resolution time is upon us once again. So dust off those pedometers, we’re off to get some fit-inducing walks underway. Just by wearing your pedometer again and observing your daily steps and distance traveled will be motivational. I suggest if you are just starting out in your trek to better health, you wear it all day long for at least two weeks and journal your daily count. Once you have some new habits in place, you can wear your pedometer just for walking workouts.

If you don’t own a pedometer, or have never used one in the past, you might need a little guidance to choose the best one for your personality type, your needs, and your interest in fitness. At the most basic level, a pedometer will sense your body’s movement and count every step you take. Technology has taken this small device to do so much more though.

Once the steps are racking up, a pedometer will next convert those steps into distance traveled. It does so by learning the length of your stride. To do so you must program the pedometer to your average step (stride) length. Each model varies so you’ll have to read the instruction manual to get this accurately.

Here is a little explanation though to make sense of the measurement. Step lengths and stride lengths are often referred to as the same thing but in some cases they are different. Your step length is the distance from your heel print of one foot to the heel print of the other foot. Stride length is measured similarly by many pedometers but some explain it as the heel print of one foot to the next time that same foot imprints. Really this is a stride length of two steps, since the other foot has already touched down once.

Sometimes you can come across a fairly accurate guess-timate of stride length based on your height. For women the equation is your height x .413. For men the equation is your height x .415. This never worked for me but I have a longer than average inseam.

Enter the Multi-function Pedometer

Although all pedometers will count steps, there are others that record calories burned as well as estimating your speed and measuring pulse rate. Some will even tell you how much fat you burned and sync with your laptop or Iphone to chart your progress. If you like features in your gadgets get the best pedometer you can afford because all those charts, graphs and measurements will keep you motivated, I promise!

One of the newest features in pedometers are those that track both speed and distance. These devices use GPS technology which, when coupled with software to upload to your PC or online journals, is a lot of fun. Nike has even launched a foot pod that is embedded into your training shoes which also is stored online at their website.

Just the Basics Please – the Simple Step Counter

On the other hand, if simplicity is your game, the most basic yet accurate pedometer will be your goal. As for the numbers, you want to increase the count daily with a starting set (for the over 30 crowd) of 7000 for weight and health maintenance; 10,000-12,000 for weight loss and fitness; and 15,000 for athletic training.

How to Tell If Your Pedometer is Accurate

Accuracy becomes an obsession once you’ve owned a pedometer for a while. Dependent on your model of choice you may find that just wearing the pedometer in a different location may chance the accuracy of steps counted, or if you’re more concerned about distance traveled you may have to adjust your stride settings. Pedometers should be comfortable enough to wear all day – some will even count steps from your handbag or purse – but I prefer to wear mine on my hip with a safety leash. Safety leashes ensure your pedometer isn’t lost as you’ll soon find that you come to rely on the little gadget.

A great way to double check your pedometer for accuracy is to visit Google Maps: Pedometer. Just go there and chart your route, then compare the results with your own pedometer’s count.

Get Walking With Your New Pedometer

Keeping records for two weeks of your steps and distance keeps you motivated and here’s why. Every day you see that you’ve taken more steps than the day before and start to look for more ways to increase your step count. Walking up a flight of stairs, walking part way home, parking away from the grocery store are just three examples.

So let’s get busy walking shall we? I’ll walk with you, in my own little town and we’ll grow stronger, fitter and leaner every day. Even just the simplest little pedometer starting with just 5,000 steps a day is a great start – I know you’ll find it to be both motivational and addictive once you see the changes in your health and fitness level.

Get, and Keep, Walking Every Day

Walking Every Day for Fitness
Walk every day, in all kinds of weather, to increase your health and maintain (or lose) weight. It doesn't always need to be a power walk - even a stroll in the park with a friend is beneficial.

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.”

I’m not sure who coined that phrase but it is one of my favorites when I’m lacking in motivation. This is especially true when it comes to good health and personal fitness and the phrase motivates me every day to strap on my pedometer and get out there for a walk.

You see really, when it comes right down to it, the exercise we do today determines what we can or cannot do in the future. How hard we push ourselves this week will determine how good we look next week. However, it is important to remember that personal health and fitness needn’t be an all encompassing lifestyle. Make it a part of who you are and what you do. You don’t need to be a guru or a fitness expert to reap the rewards and you don’t need to knock yourself out.

While some may think that exercise and fitness needs to be hard, challenging or even painful, this needn’t be the case. Many trainers and fitness experts having written numerous studies on aerobic exercise and suggest that walking for just 30 minutes per day is sufficient to maintain a higher level of health and increase your life span.

Walking? Yes, walking. It isn’t particularly challenging – although you can make it so – and it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. You really just need some comfortable and supportive shoes, motivation, and an accurate pedometer to chart your progress.

For your efforts you will reap the rewards of:

  • a reduction in body fat
  • lower your cholesterol levels
  • an increase in cardiovascular endurance
  • lower blood pressure
  • a strengthened immune system
  • a consistent weight range
  • higher bone density
  • lessened risks for colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease
  • plus much more.

How to Get Started

Here’s all you really need:

  • comfortable shoes (preferably designed for fitness walking)
  • a walking journal or notepad to record your progress
  • a step counter or pedometer
  • 5 minutes to warm up and 30 minutes to walk
  • motivation to do it, every day

Now look around. You’ll see people walking for fitness in every park, city streets, along the boardwalk, down a country road – even in shopping malls. You won’t be alone in your quest for better health! The popularity of walking for fitness is growing by leaps and bounds due to it’s ease, health benefits and low start up cost. In conclusion, walking is truly one of the best ways to get back into a more active lifestyle while positioning you on the path to a longer and healthier life.

Choosing A Quality Digital Pedometer

Pedometer Review, Compare and Take NotesIf you’ve been shopping for a pedometer you may find that there are so many options, features, and reviews to choose from that it gets confusing. For that reason we at Pedometers.org have put together a list of tips on finding the best digital pedometer for your needs.

Although we strongly suggest the Omron we feature in the sidebar you may have others available to you through other venues so a list of criteria would be beneficial.

The interesting thing about these gadgets is that you don’t always have to pay more for a high quality step counter, calorie counter, or feature rich device. To avoid paying for features that you’ll never need or use or purchasing a pedometer at a higher price just because it is the newest model it is in your best interest to read some unbiased reviews before you order one.

Search for Accurate Counts of Steps

Truly the most essential characteristic of a digital pedometer is it’s ability to be accurate. Please first understand that not one device can be 100% accurate as a step counter but there are some that keep a very close count. Poor quality pedometers are known to under count, but they may also over count too.

Quality Clips or Belts That Are Secure

The last thing you want to do is shell out good money for a digital pedometer just to have it fly off your waist or belt and become lost forever due to a faulty clip. Although some good pedometers won’t break on a sudden impact, the loss of your pedometer – especially once you’ve programmed your daily walks and goals into it – is a major let down.

A Great Manufacturer’s Warranty

Since pedometers are now high tech devices look for a good manufacturers warranty upon purchase. Due to the multitude of parts and/or the computer chip technology inside there may be upgrades or replacement parts needed over the first year of owning a pedometer. A warranty from a top rate company is a great feature and money saver.

Long Battery Life

When reading pedometer reviews be sure to pay attention to the life of the battery comments. This is especially important if you travel or have a busy life that isn’t solely operated on routine. Pedometers that regularly run short of battery life and shut down may have troubles maintaining stored information and accurate counts.

False Step Sensor Feature

If you’ve found a pedometer review that is impressive and within your price range, look deeper for a feature called the false step sensor. These units don’t count movements that are not considered a normal step. These pedometers are often the most accurate when compared to other units without this feature.

Walking Your Way Back to Health with A Pedometer

MP3 Pedometer: Walk With A Furry FriendSo you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to get in shape and stay in shape, yes? Here at Pedometers.org we want to work with you to keep you on track with your fitness goals. We have a lot of exciting developments planned over the next year and we’d like you to be part of our online family.

Even if the pedometer you are using is an older or simple monitor you can still walk with us – virtually – and meet those fitness goals. If you don’t have a pedometer yet and you’re sticking to budget with your back-into-shape regime, grab a simple step counter and let’s get moving!

In the end you don’t really need to track every mile you walk or every calorie you burn. As long as you are in relatively good health you also won’t need to worry about your heart rate or any of the other special features that many modern pedometers offer. However, with that said, if you’re walking alone you might like to have an MP3 capable pedometer so you can listen to your favorite music, podcasts or motivational tracks while you walk. It’s a great way to work out.

There are but a few basics to getting back into shape with a pedometer. First of all – unless you have a model that supports pocket or purse tracking, you’ll want to remember to always place your pedometer on your waist or hips for precise measurement and accurate step counts. The best place is directly above your hip bone so if you’re wearing a low-riding pant you may need to clip the pedometer on the bottom of a tight fitting shirt to get an accurate reading.

Next you’ll need to find some time to walk every day. This could be a morning walk with the dog, an after dinner walk around the block or, if the weather is terrible, just walking in place during the evening news or your favorite television show. Whatever you decide to do you’ll want your first goal to be taking 10,000 steps per day to get started. If you are carrying a lot of extra weight right now you can work out a plan for yourself to build up to that over the first or second week.

I know that 10,000 steps sounds like a lot but hear me out. On average the Monday to Friday,9-5 desk employee walks just under 2000 steps a day just going about normal activity. If this is your lifestyle you really only need to find an extra 8,000 steps more per day. On another post you’ll find some easy suggestions to incorporate more steps into your day – decreasing the time needed to meet your goal by day’s end.

If you will be working your way up to 10,000 steps per day please do it slowly. In fact you might want to speak to your doctor about your plans before you begin a walking regime. We are not doctors at Pedometers.org and have no idea of your current physical condition.

If you’ll be meeting your initial goal by walking outside you’ll need a good pair of sneakers or running shoes. Again, if you’re on a tight budget you might consider purchasing a pair of orthotic insoles as inserts into an older pair of running shoes you own. You will appreciate the extra support and shock absorbing value of a good shoe or insole after your first few walks. Furthermore either will help you keep your balance and support your joints while you walk yourself fit.

So, are you ready? Great! Let’s get walking….

For the first few days we suggest wearing your pedometer all day while you go about your daily business. At the end of each day write down the number of steps you already take to see if you fit into the ‘normal’ range. Our normal or average is about 2,000 per day just walking around the office, to lunch and to the car. However you may not park as far away from the office as we do or need to hand deliver messages and letters to co-workers. The point is, everyone is different.

Keeping in mind that your first goal is to walk a total of 10,000 steps per day increase your daily average by 1,000 to 2,000 steps per day until you are consistently and easily finishing the day at your goal.

To give you an idea of what is ahead for you, 10,000 steps per day helps the average person maintain their current weight given no other changes. 15,000 gets you moving towards losing weight.

The reason we start out at 10,000 is because you’ll be building muscle tone in the beginning and muscle tone increases your metabolism making your body more efficient at burning fat and losing weight (among other benefits).

If your primary goal is to loose weight it is in the third week or so that you might want to start weighing yourself regularly and keeping an eye on your food intake for high value foods. Remember food is fuel for the body and you’ll want to cut back on all the unhealthy diet choices to aid your body into efficient operation. Keep your journal updated with your healthy choices, the number of steps taken from your pedometer each evening and your weight. Just don’t get too hung up on the actual weight reading – muscle weighs more than fat and you’ll be building muscle during this process. If you are really concerned about your weight or size purchase a fat loss monitor (see the top of the page for a link to our review) for less than $40. They are as handy and as inspirational to have as a personal use pedometer.

You’re probably wondering what happens after 10,000 or 15,000 steps per day. Once you have reached your weight or fitness goal and are ready to increase your aerobic exercise to stay fit, gain better health overall or to support your heart.

Most doctors and fitness experts will caution to not be in a rush to take it to the next level and we agree. Keep wearing your pedometer and taking your 10,000 or 15,000 steps daily for at least another 4 months. It has been researched that it will take an average of six months for any activity to become a habit. You want this daily activity to be one of your new habits so that you can enjoy a lifetime of health so keep at it for another four months or so before moving onto a new regime or activity.

Omron Fat Loss Monitor

At Pedometers.org we’ve just joined alliances with one of the top manufacturers of the era, Omron.

Now you may have heard the brand name before when shopping for or researching a pedometer but the Omron company has a much larger line of health related devices than just their pedometers.
Omron's Accurate Fat Loss Monitor

Direct From the Pedometer Manufacturer

In fact I just ordered a personal use Omron fat loss monitor from the company and I’m suggesting that this may be one of the best ways for you to shop as well – direct from the manufacturer via Amazon. You won’t need to worry about paying distribution costs, inflated shipping fees and similar mark ups and you know your warranty will be honored should anything happen to your unit.

This is also especially useful should you lose a component to your pedometer – such as leaving your USB cable (when uploading your latest walks to your computer) in a hotel room. Not that I’ve ever done that! 😉

But let me tell you about the fat loss monitor before I forget!

This device (under $40 too!) measures your body-fat percentage and calculates your body-mass index (BMI). I wish I could explain to you how it does this but putting such scientific processes into legible English isn’t my strong suit. The joy of owning such a device is that you will be able to accurately monitor your progress while getting fit. As I’m sure you know losing body fat is more important than just losing weight. Knowing that you are losing fat and how much of it is truly inspirational.

What are Omron’s Fat Loss Monitor’s strong suits? Accurate readings, fast calculations and multi-person tracking. Just think you could get 8 family members or friends involved in your get fit campaign – that’s a lot of support.

Weight Watchers Pedometer: 2010

The Weight Watchers pedometer will count your steps, calculate the miles you’ve traveled and keep track of the time you have spent walking. The unit also has a sensitive stride adjustment feature. Simple to use instructions are included. The handy belt clip has been built right into the pedometer.

This is Weight Watchers’ most accurate pedometer of all time. This new model is now powered by an electronic motion sensor and includes step filter technology. The unit will count your points values and steps, giving you a chance to keep an eye on your progress. As the points bar fills up you can effortlessly walk you way to your next activity POINTS value and reward.

Even better? Get this complete set, especially if you don’t live in a major city or a town where you can always find a Weight Watchers meeting.

Omron Hip Pedometer

Stylish and sleek this little pedometer is surprisingly accurate. A great ‘starter’ pedometer (step counter) if you don’t own or want a more feature-rich pedometer from the Omron line.

Put it on every day when you get up, it counts your steps all day long and stores the data to allow you to assess your progress at the end of the week. The Hip Pedometer keeps your information for 7 days and resets every night at midnight.

This is a very basic model from the Omron line. Omron is known in the industry to produce some of the finest models available and so you may see some of the upgraded models below. The model in the photo above (white but called blue at order) is the HJ-150 and is the least expensive pedometer created by Omron at less than $16. The HJ-151 is black (but called green at order) and has a few more features. The HJ-151 used to be about generally $10 more expensive than the HJ-150 but lately the prices between the two are differing by only a few dollars.

Pedometers for Sale

If you’ve been reading my articles for some time you’re probably wondering where to find pedometers for sale, but before you run out (or should I say ‘walk’ to the nearest store) to buy one, please review the current features and decide which pedometer is best for you, serves your fitness goals, and fits your budget.

I’ll do my best to help you in this article. (Below I’ve added some of the highest reviewed units on Amazon for you – where thousands are sold and reviewed every month.)

If you’ve just started walking 10,000 steps per day you may only want the most basic device with an eye on a more advanced model once you reach your initial fitness goal.

There are three basic models of pedometers for sale, (walking, jogging, running), but a lot of features to choose from. Added to your choices is that although they seem simple in their core function not all of them work as well as they are said to. Since fitness related products are big business a lot of new pedometers (some of them from start-up companies with no prior experience in manufacturing these devices) have entered the marketplace in the last 10 years.



I would hate it if you set your goals, purchased a pedometer to track and record your daily commitment and progress and then found it didn’t work or stopped working after just a few months. Early on it is easy to find excuses to give up and a broken pedometer is just such an excuse so let’s get you a good one that works and is easy and fun to operate. It will inspire you to keep walking. It did for me, anyway.

The Basics: A pedometer is a small gadget that you attach to your body and tracks your progress while you walk, jog or run. They are light and compact and now come loaded with tools, programs and features to make fitness more enjoyable.

Some of the pedometers for sale today track:

  • Calories burnt
  • Current, average, and/or maximum distance traveled
  • Time spent exercising or walking
  • Heart rate
  • USB connection (to upload to your progress to your home computer and, with included software, track your progress)
  • Music Pacer (changes your MP3 playlist based on your current pace)
  • Alarm Clock
  • FM receiver
  • Auto daily reset

These features and others will vary depending on the type of pedometer you purchase. Your first decision then, will be whether you want a step counter, GPS, or talking pedometer. Don’t worry about the features costing you a lot of money as you can find great pedometers for sale with your preferred features for under $50 in most cases. Over the next few days I will put up my favorite models based on your current fitness levels and your wish list of features that other people have also reviewed to be excellent models.

If you can’t wait the Omron (at right) is an excellent all round model. Basically any model that is accurate and allows you to count steps will keep you motivated, help you to increase the amount of daily exercise, increase your metabolic rate and live a longer, healthier, life.

Features of Pedometers

Two different Omron pedometers.You won’t believe all the tricks today’s pedometer can pull off with the click of a few buttons.

Yes, it’s going to count your steps, but it will also record them – from day to day, month to month, so you can chart your progress.

The word ‘pedometer’ translates from Latin to a literal ‘distance counter’. Thomas Jefferson was proported to use a pedometer in all of his activities and it is also said that Leonardo da Vinci invented one of the very first models. Impressive roots and still being used today by tens of thousands of people around the world.

Today when we speak of a pedometer we generally mean a step counter. The term has become universal. It is important to note however that while some of these small and popular devices do count steps others work by measuring distance that has been travelled. One of the most exciting and recent accomplishments of a distance pedometer is the inclusion to working with Google Maps. Exciting as it may be, the distance counter styles may not be your best choice for fitness purposes.

For fitness purposes – especially if you are walking for fitness – you’ll want a step counter. These gadgets work best through their utilization of a pendulum mechanism that moves up and down as you take a step. Although pedometers may vary in sensitivity and quality most of them give a pretty accurate reading.

What else can a pedometer do? It all depends on the features you choose. Find one that plays music, tracks caloric burn, functions as a stop watch, connects to your home or work computer and via software tracks your progress and suggests new workout routines or walking routes to take to increase your level of fitness.

Some of the higher end units have pulse meters, FM radios, user-defined pace setting function, a heart rate monitor and, coming very soon, motivational messages and music selection based on a workout’s pitch. Since no one pedometer has been created to perform all these functions in one tiny gadget you’ll want to first decide which features are most important to you – then you’ll need to decide how much you have in your budget.

Don’t worry though they aren’t all that expensive. In fact the newest, most high tech pedometer to hit the market in years will be selling for just a little over $100 next month but if you just want a full-featured, highly regarded, accurate pedometer without the music check out our favorite in the sidebar at right. This Omron HJ-112 is a digital pocket pedometer currently selling at less than $25. This unit has held its place in the marketplace as being the #1 best selling pedometer since 2004 (2005). A close second costs a few dollars more (under $35) and made by the same company. Check out the Omron HJ-720ITC.

If there is some feature you’d like to see or buy in a pedometer but can’t find any information here on the topic please use the contact form below. We will help you fnd it!

MP3 Capable Pedometer Review

Philips Activa Workout Monitoring MP3 Player (Act101m/17) – NEW for 2010! I’m really excited about this new-to-the-scene pedometer. Featuring ‘TempoMusic’ which is an automatic analysis of user aerobic intensity to find and match songs on the play list. Keeps you motivated during a workout by shouting feedback and offering encouragement of workout progress while selecting appropriate music to match workout intensity. Track your progress with included software on your PC or MAC (USB).

This popular pedometer has been out of stock regularly but a new shipment is in and the price couldn’t be better. MP3 Pedometer – less than $40.

Oregon Scientific PE829 Talking Pedometer with FM Radio – seemed the most promising when considering the list of features for Music Loving Walkers, but falls short with it’s users. Most common complaints are the difficulty in setup, poorly written instruction manual, and a short battery life.

Omron HJ-720ITC Pocket Pedometer with Advanced Omron Health Management Software -Top rated since 2007 (USB)

Highgear Fitware FM Radio Pedometer with Watch, Alarm, and Chronograph – Cheap, without a tuner for the radio, inaccurate, discontinued model. 1.5

Highgear Fitware Pedometer – with Heart Rate monitor but not terribly accurate. Somewhat technical to set up and operate. 3.5

Haier ibiza Rhapsody HHH1A-2G Trainer Sport MP3 Player with Pedometer and Heart-Rate Monitor – Heart rate monitor is not ‘hands free’ – not great for spinning, cycling, etc. Small buttons, instruction manual could use improvement, sound quality not great. 3.0

Sportline 375 MP3 Pedometer + FM Radio – No song title display and FM reception is lacking. (USB) Moderately tricky to set up.

Haier ibiza Rhapsody HHS1A-2G Sport MP3 Player with Pedometer – Waterproof, dim screen, random playlist shuffle. 3.0

GSI All-in-One Sport Pedometer/MP3 Player – Counts steps, distance travelled, calories burned. (USB) UNRATED

RCA S2501 Jet Stream Series 1GB Sport MP3 Player with Wireless Headphones – Well loved unit that is currently discontinued. Very few complaints from owners on this one – most of them centered around the headset chargers. Good sound, full color display. 4.0

RCA Jet 4 GB Sports MP3 Player with Video, Music, FM Radio, and Sports Features – discontinued. Technically buggy. Average user rating: 2.5

RCA Jet 1 GB – no pedometer but it does record lap times, running times and gives BMI. Remaining units are deeply discounted likely due to the low user ratings of 2.5 -2.0