Pedometers: The Magic Pill for Better Health

If there were a pill you could take that could help you lose weight,

get in better shape, and live a longer, healthier life, wouldn’t you

want to know about it?

The good news is, there is such a pill, and it doesn’t require a

prescription, nor is it available over the counter. It’s a simple step

counter, or pedometer, and it has powers you would not believe to

improve your health and wellness, lose weight, and live longer.

What’s a pedometer? It’s a simple electronic device you wear on

your waistband that counts steps. Technically, a pedometer

calculates distance, as opposed to a step counter, which only

counts steps. The pedometer still counts steps, and uses a user-

input stride length to calculate the distance. Other pedometers

show calories burned, elapsed exercise time, steps per minute, and

on and on. All you really need is something that accurately counts

steps. Other features can be nice, but many are not necessary.

Why is it important to count steps? It’s a primary indication of the

activity you are engaged in during the day. Studies have shown that

you don’t need to dedicate a specific time to exercise, per se, but

smaller bouts of activity can have the same effect as one longer,

extended period.

That means that making small changes in your daily routine can have

tremendous effects on your health. Park farther from the store, take

the stairs instead of the elevator, pace while you’re on the phone,

walk with the dog instead of just letting her go, and go down the hall

instead of sending an e-mail or picking up the phone.

By taking more steps-essentially increasing your daily activity and

burning more calories-you are becoming more physically active.

The American Medical Association says that by increasing your

activity level, you will:

Increase stamina

Stimulate weight loss

Lower blood cholesterol

Lower blood pressure

Improve self image

Improve mood

Enhance quality of life

As if that weren’t enough, the AMA says you will also:

Sleep better

Strengthen your heart and lungs

Decrease stress

Increase energy

Maintain appropriate weight

Lower triglycerides

Control blood sugar levels/diabetes

Feel better

Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety

Improve productivity

Build an maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints

Increase muscle tone

Reduce risk if dying prematurely

If any of these benefits are important to you, it’s vital that you begin

to move more. The American College of Sports Medicine

traditionally prescribes the following as the appropriate level of

activity in order to get these benefits:

Frequency: 3 – 5 days per week

Intensity: 60% to 90% of maximal heart rate

Duration: 20 – 60 minutes

If you can’t take 30 minutes to exercise, try three 10-minute walking

sessions throughout the day. Walk briskly to get the maximum

benefit. If you have been sedentary, check with a doctor and start


Your new life begins today, and it will be a healthier, longer, and

happier life!

This blog provides general information and discussions about health, exercise and related subjects. The information and other content, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be taken as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional expertise. Before commencing an exercise program or a diet, you should consult with a professional such as a medical doctor or licensed fitness coach. The opinions and views expressed on this blog and website may have no relation to those of any university or academic establishment, hospital, health practice or other institution. For more information visit the legal page.