Part III: Bad Ways to Use Your Pedometer
Here is what I did NOT like about my pedometer,
which I'm sharing to jump start you as you begin with your own pedometer.
Building Trust: Any pedometer you purchase will have a learning curve and require an accuracy check. I verified how my pedometer’s numbers changed by moving it forward or backward on my hip a few inches, and the answer is 20-30%! Keep it in the same location day after day, ideally aligned with the outer seam on your pant leg.
Mental Anxiety: The first week or two nearly gave me neck cramps from constantly glancing down at my hip. I recommend checking your pedometer before and after an activity or every hour or two.
Logging Your Baseline and Building: This takes the most time and practice. Record your daily steps for one week with end-of-day totals. Then you can try any of the three following options:
1. Increase your stepping by 500 steps a day each week.
2. Increase your steps by a percentage (10-30%) on three or four days of the week.
3. Insert additional 10-30 min chunks activities into your day.
My favorite is the last option because I sought out activities that fit into my daily routine and gave me the most steps for my time, such as 45 minute morning cardio workouts (~4000) and hour long evening walks (~3000).
What Pedometers Miss: Designed for walking-only, my pedometer didn’t measure anything I did standing/upper body or sideways, such as laundry, cooking, dishes, dusting, sweeping, cleaning the fridge, etc. Here are some of my basic daily chores I was curious to check; note how different the sweeping and vacuuming numbers are:
Making breakfast: 4
Washing Dishes: 0
2 Hours Cooking: 0
Making my King Bed: 30
Setting the Table: 50
Taking the trash bin to the curb and walking back: 70
Sweeping 1000 sq ft: 150 (sideways movement), 20 minutes
Vacuuming 1500 sq ft: 550 (push/pull), 30 minutes
Pedometers also are not accurate/applicable to swimming, Yoga, Pilates, and strength training. If you wish to loose weight or train for an event, add a Heart Rate monitor or Body Bug (calorie-burning counter) to measure your intensity, or how challenging your workouts are.
Friday I’ll be posting Part IV: The Best Ways to Use Your Pedometer,
and how it changed my brain more than my body.
Thanks for reading!