It seems like everyone is now wearing some sort of devise on their wrist to measure how physically active they are. But really do you need to go out and spend $100 or more for something that tells you how many steps you’re taking?
First off, why are we obsessed with the number of steps we take? Where did the goal of 10,000 steps a day come from? Not surprisingly, you invent a device and you have to make people want it. In this case it came about when the Japanese popularized the “10K a day” rule when the early version of a pedometer “manpokel” was launched back in the 1960s.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the goal isn’t number of steps you take but the activity level. Their recommendation:
• 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (brisk walking) a week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity like jogging or running or a mix of moderate and vigorous activity.
• Strength training 2 or more days a week, working all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
All that said, I know a number of people that are really into their Fitness Trackers and it does help them be more active, which is a good thing. So if you think knowing how many steps you take a day might be good motivator for you, you need to look no further then your iPhone. You’ll notice there is a white square with a red heart. Open it up and you’ll find a built in step tracker. Guaranteed you may not want to carry around your cell phone all the time but put your phone in your pocket and check it out. It’s keeping track of the data whether you look at it or not.
A pedometer is a cheaper alternative to a Fitbit for counting steps. But what if your device doesn’t cover sports such as skiing or snowshoeing? Check out the Step Conversion Chart.
Whether you use a devise to track your steps or go by the CDC’s guidelines, the ultimate goal is to be active throughout your day.