Walking is the simplest form of exercise to do and also the mode of exercise that is practiced most consistently. Put on some shoes and a pedometer and off you go! A pedometer??? What’s that? It is a small device worn on the side of the waist that measures the swing of your hip to calculate your steps. Some pedometers also offer other features- like calories burnt (measured only when you are stepping at a rate fast enough to be considered exercising aerobically), distance walked (based on measuring your stride length when you set up your pedometer).
10000 steps a day is recommended as a benchmark for an active lifestyle. This is roughly equivalent to 5 miles or 8km for us in the metric system. If you sit in a car to get to work and sit at a desk for your job and don’t engage in other activities, you may be walking as little as 3000 steps a day. Studies have shown that people who wear pedometers walk 2900 steps more, on average, when they wear on versus when the go through their day without one!
Newer models can be worn in a pocket rather than on the outside of clothing so they are less conspicuous. Others have a radio combined with the unit so you can plug in some headphones and listen while you walk. There is some variation in accuracy so for a decent pedometer, you may have to pay a bit more. Here’s is a short video on testing pedometers that was done here in BC by the ladies known as The Shopping Bags on the W Network.