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Pedometer Walking for Weight Loss and Fitness

VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 10

Pedometer walking is a fun and effective way to improve fitness and lose some weight. Using a pedometer to monitor your daily steps keeps motivated in your fitness walking program.

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									           Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com




                                   Presents




                 Pedometer Walking For
                  Weight Loss And Fun
                                 By Satu Hattula




© Satu Hattula                                                          1/10
                Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com


                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pedometer Walking For Weight Loss And Fun.............................................................................1
  Why You Should Start Pedometer Walking.............................................................................. 3
    Why Pedometer Walking Is So Effective.............................................................................. 3
  Create A Simple Personalized Walking Program......................................................................4
    Establish Your Baseline.........................................................................................................4
    Two Progressive Pedometer Walking Programs................................................................... 5
    Setting a Long-Term Step Goal ............................................................................................ 5
  Nine Ways To Add More Steps.................................................................................................6
  How to Stay Motivated in Your Fitness Walking Program.......................................................7
    Join A Walking Club – Or Form One Yourself.....................................................................7
    Use Social Networking Sites to Keep Track of Your Progress............................................. 8
  How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?................................................................................ 8
    You Need to Estimate Your Walking Speed First.................................................................8
    So How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking, Exactly?.................................................... 9
    Four Ways to Burn More Calories Walking..........................................................................9




© Satu Hattula                                                                                                                2/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com



Why You Should Start Pedometer Walking
Walking is unarguably one of the best forms of physical activity there is: it’s simple,
inexpensive and suitable for unfit and obese people.

Walking also has numerous reported health benefits: it lowers blood cholesterol and blood
pressure, effectively shrinks the waistline, reduces the likelihood of diabetes and
cardiovascular disease, and helps fight stress and depression.

Ok, you probably already believe that walking is good for you. But what is so special about
pedometer walking?

Why Pedometer Walking Is So Effective

Everyone knows how hard it can be to change your lifestyle for the better. Researchers know
that too, but they have also found out that measuring your daily steps with a pedometer is an
effective way to increase physical activity. One study concluded that pedometer users walked
an additional mile compared with walkers who didn’t use pedometers.

There is one reservation though: you have to set step goals and record your daily steps for this
to work. Just carrying your pedometer with you isn’t enough.

                                           ********

There are many reasons why pedometers are so effective.

According to researcher Catrina Tudor-Locke, one reason is that pedometers are simple to set
up and use. I can’t but agree with Tudor Locke, especially when you compare pedometers with
heart rate monitors. It took me 3 hours to learn how to use my first heart rate monitor, while
it took me perhaps 20 minutes to make my pedometer ready to use.

Another reason is that pedometers are inexpensive. You can get accurate pedometers starting
as low as $20. You don’t always have to spend hundreds of dollars to own a good fitness
gadget! (It’s easy to find cheap pedometers, but I wouldn’t bother with them).

                                           ********

The last and perhaps the most important reason for their effectiveness it that pedometers
give you immediate and understandable feedback on your activity or inactivity. Even my 4-
year old niece had no difficulty understanding how my pedometer works and my reasons for
using it. She actually used it to argue I should get up form the sofa and play with her!




© Satu Hattula                                                                                3/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

I want to mention one more advantage of using pedometers: even if you don’t have time for
long stretches of “formal” exercise during the day, it’s pretty easy to sneak physical activity
into your day and still be able to monitor your progress.

In other words, pedometers are effective motivators.

Personally, I think of my pedometer as a personal pacesetter. Every morning I wear my
pedometer around my neck and start chasing my daily step goal. :-)




Create A Simple Personalized Walking Program
Do you know how to get the most out of your step counter? Simply wearing a step counter is
going to get boring fast!

In order to gain all the benefits of using a pedometer, you need a pedometer walking program
that is both easy and challenging at the same time.

Establish Your Baseline

Before you start your walking program, you need to define your current level of physical
activity.

Your first task is to simply measure your daily steps for 3-7 consecutive days, wearing your
step counter from dawn to dusk. It’s a good idea to include both workdays and days off in your
measurement period.

This is also a great way to assess your level of physical activity.

TIP: It’s important to avoid the temptation of changing your daily routine during the
measurement period. It might be a good idea to tape the screen of your pedometer ( if you
use a model with a flap, just keep it closed) so you don’t see your numbers during the day.

Remove the tape and jot down your daily steps just before you go to bed.

Example Of Calculating Your Baseline

Let’s say Susan walks for 4 consecutive days to establish her baseline. Her daily steps are
5,634, 3,477, 6,545 and 2,555. To get her baseline, Susan adds the four numbers together and
divides the sum with four = (3,634+3,477+6,545+2,555) / 4 ≈ 4,553 steps. (This means Susan is
in the sedentary group).




© Satu Hattula                                                                              4/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

Two Progressive Pedometer Walking Programs

Now you’re ready to create your own pedometer program! Below are my instructions for two
simple programs: both are based on gradually increasing your daily steps, with the difference
that program #2 proceeds more briskly than program #1. If you like challenges, think about
choosing program #2.

You’re supposed to set yourself a new step goal every week until you reach your long-term
goal. More about long-term goals later.

Program 1: Add 500 Steps* Program

In 500 steps program you simply add 500 to your baseline to get a step goal for your first
week. Thus, Susan’s first week step goal is 4553 + 500 = 5053 steps.

During her first week Susan tries to add 500 steps every day, but doesn’t quite make it. Her
average steps for week 1 is 4950 steps. Based on that number, her second week step goal is
4950 + 500 = 5450 steps. The step goals for the following weeks are calculated in the same
way, until you reach your main goal.

Program 2: The 20% Boost Program**

The 20% boost program was originally devised by Felton and Bennett. In the program, you
get your first step goal by taking 20 % of the baseline and adding the result to the baseline.

Susan’s first week step goal would be 1.2 x 4,553 = 5464 steps.

Let’s say this time Susan’s average for week 1 is 5200 steps, so her step goal for week 2 is 1.2 x
5200 = 6240 steps. And so on.

Setting a Long-Term Step Goal

What should your “ultimate” step goal be? An often quoted step goal is 10,000 which roughly
corresponds to walking 5 miles per day. In most cases that’s enough for healthy adults, but
nothing prevents you from aiming higher.

10,000 steps a day is sufficient to gain all health benefits of walking.

For children and adolescents, the goal should considerably higher than 10,000 steps, i.e.
16,000 steps per day. For elderly people and people with health issues, 7,000 – 8,000 steps
per day might be a more realistic goal.




© Satu Hattula                                                                               5/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

Nine Ways To Add More Steps
Have you started pedometer walking only to realize that you fall drastically short of your
daily step goal?

One way to increase your step count is to take at least one 30-60 minute walk during the day,
but that is not always possible. In that case, you need to find ways to consciously add more
steps into your day.

Before I list my 9 tips, let’s take a look at some basic pedometer walking facts. You might find
them useful in estimating how much physical activity (in minutes) you need to add to your day
to reach a certain step count. The figures are based on Fenton and Bassett’s pedometer
walking guide. *



   •   1 minute of leisurely walking corresponds to 100 steps (500 steps in 5 minutes)
   •   1 minute of moderate walking corresponds to 120 steps (600 steps in 5 minutes)
   •   1 minute of brisk walking corresponds to 135 steps (575 steps in 5 minutes)
   •   1 minute of aerobic walking corresponds to 150 steps (750 steps in 5 minutes)

Here are my 9 tips for logging more steps on your pedometer:

   1. Use commercial breaks to walk around the house or pace in place.
   2. Take a short 10-minute walk during your lunch hour. If you can’t go outside, run small
      errands or just walk along the corridors. Take the stairs whenever you can.
   3. Walk to a nearby store to shop for items. Before I got my pedometer, I used to be
      annoyed when I forgot to buy things. Now I just view that as a chance to get some
      extra steps.
   4. Dance! Put on your headphones, listen to your favourite music and dance. Salsa,
      samba or any fast music is great for this purpose. It’s no accident Zumba is so popular.
   5. Walk while you talk on the phone. The more you talk, the more you walk.
   6. Do jumping jacks, skip and do some shadow boxing. This is good last resort way of
      adding steps if you’re short of your daily step goal.
   7. Take the long route. If you are in a habit of taking the shortest route wherever you go,
      find a longer one. These days I often take a long circuitous way to my grocery store.
      Much of my daily step count is fulfilled that way.
   8. Read and walk. I must confess I’m not very good at reading and walking at a same time,
      but you might be!
   9. Take advantage of your family members. Play tag, basketball or dancing games with
      your children. An added bonus is improved relationships with your children.

Pedometer walking is great precisely because you always get immediate feedback on your
increased physical activity. It keeps you motivated in making those small improvements in
your life.

© Satu Hattula                                                                              6/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com




How to Stay Motivated in Your Fitness Walking Program
Walking is a great way to get in shape, lose weight and feel energetic. (In my opinion, the
best.)

Yet as good as it is for you, it can be challenging to maintain your motivation in the long run.
The good news is there are a number of ways to keep yourself motivated.

The best way to stay motivated in your walking program is to leverage the power of social
relationships.

Connecting with others who have similar goals is a great way to stay motivated and make new
friends. Support groups and membership sites are also full of helpful information about the
best walking trails, walking gear and events.

Join A Walking Club – Or Form One Yourself

Support groups can be formed around almost any common goal like walking together, getting
in shape or losing weight. Nowadays it’s easy to find walking groups both offline and online.
Even your employer might have a walking program of their own, so check that option too.

Find local walking clubs. You can easily find local walking clubs and walking events through
American Volkssport Association. In the UK, you can find walking clubs through Rambling
Clubs site. If you like the online option, check American Heart Association’s Start! Walking
Now site. They have a nifty online service with activity and meal trackers and lots of
professional information about living a healthy lifestyle.

Pedometer walking programs. If you own a pedometer, join a membership site like Walker
Tracker, which allows tracking steps you’ve taken each day. Walker Tracker has pedometer
walking programs for companies, but individuals can join too.

Walking with Attitude. Definitely visit the Australian walking site Walking With Attitude.
Walking with Attitude is the coolest walking site I have found on the Internet so far. They offer
virtual walking challenges and handy online fitness tools for calculating your stride length,
baseline steps, basal metabolic rate (bmr) and body mass index etc. Need a walking program
that tightens and tones your muscles? They have it!

If you can’t find a walking group near you or your employer doesn’t have one, nothing
prevents you from starting your own group.




© Satu Hattula                                                                                7/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

Use Social Networking Sites to Keep Track of Your Progress

In addition to “live” walking groups and online membership sites, you can use social
networking sites like Facebook to help get and stay motivated.

You could start simply by polling your Facebook friends about their interest in forming a
walking group. After that it’s easy to form a public or private group where you can share your
progress with your friends.

You can spice things up by posting your walking photos and videos on your group’s wall. Make
it a fun and interactive process. Alternatively, search for Facebook groups or pages that are
organized around fitness walking.

                                           ********

When it comes to walking for health and fitness you have abundance of motivation resources.
Experiment with different tools and resources to find ones that match your needs, lifestyle
and personality. You’ll increase your chances of achieving your fitness walking goals many
times over.




How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?
If you’re walking for weight loss, you’re probably interested in how many calories you burn
while walking.

As a simple rule of thumb, you can have a rough estimate of your calorie consumption if you
know your walking speed, body weight and time spent walking.

You Need to Estimate Your Walking Speed First

Here are a couple of ways to estimate your walking speed.

If you have a measured course or track you can use, it’s easy to arrive at an estimate of your
walking speed simply by walking one mile and taking note of how much time you use. For
example, if you walk a mile in 16 minutes, your walking speed is (60 / 16) / 1 = 3.75 mph. If it
takes you 20 minutes to walk a mile, your walking speed is (60 /20) / 1 = 2 mph.

Another way to estimate your walking speed is to count how many steps you take in a minute
and then calculate your walking speed in mph, but then you also need to know your stride
length. For example, if you take 100 steps a minute and your stride length is 2.3 ft (70 cm),
your walking speed is (230 x 60) / 5280 = 2.6 mph.



© Satu Hattula                                                                               8/10
            Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

TIP: It’s a good idea to measure your walking speed in different conditions: when you walk in a
leisurely pace, moderate pace and brisk pace. That way you can easily estimate how many
calories you burn walking in many situations.

If you have a treadmill or can easily access one, you can use it get walking speed estimates.

So How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking, Exactly?

Now it’s time to make some example calculations. To make things a bit easier, I simply used
HealthStatus’ calorie burn calculator, which gives estimates on different activities.

Let’s assume I weigh 150 lbs and walk 30 minutes at a leisurely rate of 2 mph. According to the
calculator, I consume 95 kcal. If I double my walking speed to 4 mph, I burn 176 kcal in 30
minutes.

This is only a very rough estimate on how many calories you burn walking, though. That’s
because it didn’t take into account factors like sex, age, weather conditions and workout
intensity. Walking speed is an inaccurate estimate of workout intensity because a 4 mph walk
is much more strenuous and consumes more calories for a person in poor shape. For a
racewalker, 4 mph is nothing.

If you want a more accurate way to measure your calorie burn, you need a heart rate monitor
that takes as input factors like age, sex, fitness level, weight and so on. Nowadays, many
pedometers (like my Omron Hj-113) also calculate calories burned, but the numbers aren’t
very accurate. The same holds true for treadmills and ellipticals you find at fitness centres.
Unless you’re plugged to a heart rate monitor, their numbers aren’t reliable.

Four Ways to Burn More Calories Walking

There are many ways you can increase the amount of calories you burn while walking. I list
four of them below.

   1. Increase your walking speed. When you increase your walking speed you burn more
      calories and can spend less time walking. In en earlier example I nearly double the
      energy I spent when I double my walking speed.
   2. Take longer walks. If you usually make quick 30 minute walks, take an 60 minute or 1,5
      hour walks during weekend.
   3. Start Nordic walking. According to some studies, Nordic walking burns even 20-35
      percent more calories than regular walking (if you know the technique). Nordic walking
      has other benefits too. Even if it’s more intense, it’s actually gentler on joints and
      ligaments than regular walking.
   4. Walk uphill and take sprints. You can easily increase your calorie consumption if you
       intersperse quick sprints and walking uphill in your regular walks. And don’t forget
      stair climbing.


© Satu Hattula                                                                              9/10
              Learn more from Satu at her blog -> http://BodyCapable.Com

Adding some variety to your fitness walking regime is a good idea anyhow. You get the full
benefit of your walking program while avoiding the risk of overuse injuries and boredom.



References:

*Fenton, M. & Bassett, D. (2006). Pedometer Walking. Stepping Your Way to Health, Weight
Loss and Fitness. Guildford: The Lyons Press.




Want to know more about how fitness walking can help you get fit and keep you
weight at control? You can find me at http://BodyCapable.Com




© Satu Hattula                                                                           10/10

								
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