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.

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.

Fitness Gifts Between Friends

Fitness related gifts must be given with a measure of caution.Over the years you’ve dieted, changed exercise routines, bought equipment, got a membership to the gym, changed your life style, changed your eating habits, read books, taken classes – so on and so on – to get and keep fit, right?

Let me ask you though…have you ever tried taking on accountability with a ‘fitness friend’? Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting that you haven’t, but in parts of my own life I’ve retreated into seclusion thinking that extra weight and loss of fitness was only my problem. My friends were fit and trim which only made it harder on my psyche that I was carrying around an extra 20 pounds.

Last year at a Christmas party one of my friends gave me a pedometer. I was instantly excited about this gadget and all the programming features, but later found out that she had been worried to give it to me. Worried that I might have been offended because I’d assume she was saying that I need to lose weight.

Since those days I have given many of my friends and associates a pedometer as Birthday and Christmas gifts and been met with varying reactions. So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a pedometer as a gift for someone, here are some tips I’ve gained over the years.

First of all, you don’t want to be giving a fitness related gift to someone unless you’re either:

(a) fit yourself, or
(b) hoping the recipient will become your fitness accountability partner.

You’ll want to know the benefits of regular exercise and how a pedometer can help you reach your own fitness goals before you present a fitness related gift to someone. If the recipient knows that you are looking out for their best interest, that you want them to live a longer and healthier life, the pedometer will be well received.

I always give the high-tech pedometers as gifts as, if nothing else, the recipient will be less offended because you appear to have lavished them with something new and expensive when the functions and options are varied. (Don’t worry, you won’t need to spend a lot more money to get the newest, high tech pedometer.) The fact is that we live in a high-tech, gadget-oriented, world. Women love appliances that make their lives easier and men enjoy new gadgets that they use and display like a trophy. These electronic wonders add some spice and interest to new hobbies and habits.

My point is that you want to shop for a pedometer that has new and innovative technology. This might be a pedometer with speed and distance units that utilize GPS technology. These units give constant readouts on the owner’s speed, distance, pace, and some come with add features such as a heart rate monitor that can be stored on a separate recorder unit…which eventually can be downloaded to your computer.

If your recipient is into mountain climbing, shop for the ones that measure altitude, temperature, and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) levels. If they’re a golfer, grab one that records and stores golf scores plus measures the swing speed.

Options are aplenty – from the most simple fitness gift to high tech sports watches – whichever one you choose offers you the satisfaction that you have given a gift from the heart that assists your recipient in living a healthier, active, and longer life.