Starting Your 10,000 Step Program 1. What is a Pedometer? A pedometer is a motion-sensing device which accurately records the number of footsteps you take. Pedometers are meant to measure primarily walking-related activities. 2. Wearing Your Pedometer. A pedometer is designed to be worn at waist level, directly above the side of either knee. The pedometer should be mounted horizontally in a level position, clipped onto your belt or the rim of your pants. For security’s sake, you can tie a string between your pedometer and belt loop to prevent it from falling to the ground should it become dislodged. Avoid any rough handling of your pedometer. This includes shaking, throwing or bouncing of your pedometer. In fact, we don’t even recommend jarring your pedometer while running or playing contact or running sports. 3. Logging Footsteps. Logging footsteps is the single most important step you will take to insure consistency over the long haul. From Day 1 on your pedometer program, start using the Eight- Week Step Tracker form to record your footsteps. Come Sunday at the end of each week, add up your total footsteps for the seven days of that week and calculate your Daily Average in the space on the form. 4. Goals and Target Training. Different people have different goals, baseline fitness and activity levels, and different lifestyles and attitudes towards fitness and physical activity. Once you have worn your pedometer for a few days and determined your baseline steps for a day, set a reachable goal for the next week. For example, if your baseline number of steps per day is 6,000, you may decide to increase by 100 steps a day for the next seven days. The only competition you have is with yourself. So set a goal that is realistic and attainable for you. The big goal is 10,000 steps a day. How you get there is decided by you on a timeline that suits your fitness level and general health. The important thing is to gradually get more active and stay more active. 5. Key Points of Training. A) Increase your activity level (measured in footsteps) very gradually. For example, consider an increase of just 100 footsteps per day. This represents about one extra minute of walking per day – not a lot, but certainly enough to make a difference over the long haul. B) For a weight loss program, emphasize longer walks and increased exercise duration, eventually building up to 45-60 minutes a day of walking. For a cardiovascular program, emphasize shorter walks of greater intensity, eventually building up to 20 or so non- stop minutes per walk. For a longevity-oriented program, gradually build up to 6,000-10,000 footsteps a day and maintain that level consistently over a lifetime. C) Wear comfortable walking shoes and thin socks. 6. Rejuvenation. If you find yourself slipping, go back to your pedometer Step Tracker form and just pick up from where you last faded out. Adapted from: Pedometer Walking by Robert Sweetgall.
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