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Using a Pedometer to Track Physical Activity How physically active are you? Would you be more motivated to increase daily physical activity if you had an easy way to monitor your level of activity? If so, consider wearing a pedometer to track the number of steps you take each day a rough but easily obtainable reflection of daily physical activity.
Determine Your Baseline
Wear the pedometer for a week to obtain a baseline average daily number of steps.
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Steps Set Goals
Set an appropriate goal for increasing steps. The goal of 10,000 steps per day is widely recommended, but your personal goal should reflect your baseline level of steps. For example, if your current daily steps are far below 10,000, a goal of walking 2000 additional steps each day might be appropriate. If you are already close to 10,000 steps per day, choose a higher goal. Also consider the following guidelines from health experts:
• To reduce the risk of chronic disease, aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
• To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy weight gain, engage in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week.
• To sustain weight loss, engage daily in at least 60-90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.
To help gauge how close you are to meeting these time-based physical activity goals, you might walk for 10-15 minutes while wearing your pedometer to determine how many steps correspond with the time-based goals.
Once you have set your overall goal, break it down into several steps. For example, if your goal is to increase daily steps by 2000, set mini-goals of increasing daily steps by 500, allowing two weeks to reach each mini-goal. Smaller goals are easier to achieve and can help keep you motivated and on track. Having several interim goals also gives you the opportunity to reward yourself more frequently. Note your goals below: