Get a pedometer and wear it daily (the 10,000 steps program) -- an amazing $5 expenditure with real fitness and health benefitsStep 1: Select a pedometer (step counter), the more basic the better.
I like the Sportsline 340 Basic Electronic Pedometer, shown http://www.amazon.com/SportLine-SP2795BK-Sportline-Strider-Pedometer/dp/B0006VWRX6/sr=8-1/qid=1159594734/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-0810581-2379030?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods
I got one at my corner chain drugstore for under $5, so you might find one locally. Mine had no problems, but I note I clip it on a waistband, not a belt. If you want to clip it to a belt, shop for a different simple model.
Fancier models are trouble. If it has a cover you have to open, the cover breaks after a while (and that little reset button really does not need to be protected by a cover). If it has all sorts of programable information and calculations, those features may not work (my experience) and just give you data which adds nothing to reaching your basic goal of taking 10,000 steps a day.Step 2. Keep in your mind that the desirable goal is 10,000 steps a day.
Hitting this goal, without more, improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of diabetes, and helps you stay limber. See some real data bearing out this assertion at http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/studies/step.shtml
. This goal is generally recognized as easier to implement than trying to take a daily walk of a pre-determined distance (http://10000steps.org.au/?page=lifestyles/why10kaday
If you want to do a web search, a lot of links are listed on an About.com page on walking at http://walking.about.com/od/measure/f/10000steps.htm
. The 10,000 step goal has been recommended by the Surgeon General, if you consider that important.3. Look at your pedometer every night.
My experience, as a very sedentary professional who sits at a computer too much, is that my normal walking is 7,000 steps daily. When I do a nightly pedometer reading, and without trying to make any project out of it, my walking swings up to 10,000 steps. For me, the pedometer reading is sufficient to bring the goal into awareness and then I just naturally walk a bit more for things ... to get a book, to the water cooler, whatever ... and get up to and stay at 10,000 steps in a matter of days. And I do feel more limber, in addition to other less observable health benefits.
It is possible to make a project out of wearing a pedometer, but I don't find the need. If you want to keep a log, you can find sample forms at http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/health/health20percentboost.html
and through links on the About.com walking page.
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A pedometer is a really good place to start a fitness program and is one piece of fitness equipment you are almost guaranteed to end up using on a daily basis.
I love mine!