pedometer teens walking

The Pedometer Challenge, Part 1: Which One Is Best For You?

At Empowered Wellness Camps, we use pedometers as a great tool for measuring and recording fitness goals. The teens and college students who attend our weight loss program create baselines and then try to beat those baselines over the course of the summer.  On average those who use a pedometer and track their progress take 2,000 more steps a day. 

10,000 steps a day is a great goal to shoot for. It’s challenging — yet totally achievable with steady intention. Moving your body shouldn’t be miserable! We’re big believers in daily fitness habits that are easy and fun.

Those are the habits you’ll want to keep doing, whether you’re focused on weight loss or like the energy and confidence that physical movement naturally brings us.

Not at 10,000 steps right now? No problem. Just think of it as a goal that you’ll work up to. The pedometer is the measuring tool to get you there. You can also find great apps that sync with your pedometer to help you create your baseline, set goals, record your progress and connect with other people tackling goals like yours.

This three-part series will show you step-by-step how to use pedometers to gradually build your own fitness up — without buckets of sweat or misery!

With so many options on the market now, it’s easy to find a pedometer that fits your budget and has the features you like.  They can range from $2-$500, so keep an eye on the price.

Mechanical, Digital or Smart Pedometers

These are the current types of pedometers:  mechanical, digital and smart pedometers. 

Mechanical pedometers are very simple and use a pendulum inside that swings back and forth when you walk and tallies the steps.  These are great because they’re inexpensive, but can be very inaccurate and can easily break. Check out this waist pedometer and wrist pedometer

Digital Pedometers are far superior to mechanical pedometers.  They still use a pendulum to record steps but the process is much more accurate. These are more affordable than the smart pedometers and come with many features. Check out this one.

Smart pedometers are the newest craze in pedometers. Think the iPhone Watch. They use an accelerometer to record steps and some use GPS to track distance.  These tend to be the most reliable, are equipped with the most features and are the most expensive. Check out this Fitbit and Garmin. 

 Features to Consider

Amazon is a great place to start your search for a pedometer.  Consider the quality of the brand, the design and the features of the pedometer.  The reviews are also a great resource.

  1. Reliability: choose a reliable pedometer that will accurately track your steps over time. You also want one that’s durable enough for your lifestyle — for example, if you’re going to be carrying it with you on business trips.
  2. Comfort: You can wear pedometers that clip to your side or strap onto your wrist.  If you choose a waist pedometer, make sure you find one that isn’t too cumbersome and fits your waist comfortably so it doesn’t fall off.  Wrist pedometers can be chunky and big and come with different clasps.  Choose a face size you like and a clasp you are comfortable fastening and unfastening.
  3.  Features: pedometers come with lots of different kinds of features:
  • clocks
  • stop watches
  • calorie trackers
  • distance trackers
  • alarms
  • goal setting features
  • heart rate monitors
  • sitting and inactive trackers
  • ability to track certain work outs
  • food logging
  • sleep monitors

4. Price:Prices vary wildly. Think about the features you need and don’t need.   No reason to pay for the pedometer that does everything when you only need a few features. 

Pedometers are an essential tool to help you track your fitness goals and help you get those steps in every day.    Happy shopping — and walking!

In next week’s Pedometer Challenge Part 2, we’ll explain the very first thing you should do with your pedometer.