Pedometers come in all shapes and sizes – some being better than others. And while it’s true that pedometers can greatly enhance your walking workouts, the wrong pedometer can be nothing more than a waste of money. With so many pedometers to choose from, it can be useful to know what to look for when you are deciding on which one to buy…
Functions: Old-style pedometers only counted steps which was useful but not terribly informative. Modern pedometers can not only count steps but will also measure how far you have walked, how long you have walked for, how many calories you have burnt and how long you have been walking for. Make sure the pedometers you are considering offer all the functions you think you’ll need.
Simplicity: As you’ll be using your pedometer on the go, it’s important that you don’t have to resort to looking up instructions in a manual every time you want to access one of the functions. Hard to use pedometers can be frustrating and end up not being used at all which is a waste of your hard earned money.
Battery life: The last thing you need is for your pedometer to run out of battery power every few weeks or, worse still, pack up during a walk so you lose all your walking data. Good pedometers will use lithium-type long-lasting batteries and have a weak battery indicator so you know when to replace your power cell.
Accuracy: For pedometers to measure the distance you have walked, you need to tell it how long your normal walking stride is. This is normally inputted during the setting up process. Likewise, for pedometers to make an accurate estimation of the number of calories you have burnt, you need to input your age and weight. Pedometers that do not require you to input this type of information are not going to be as accurate as those that do.
Rugged design: Pedometers are often exposed to bad weather and rough handling and must be able to stand up to lots of vibration which means they need to be relatively tough. While you can’t really expect a pedometer to survive complete immersion in water or being dropped from a great height, it shouldn’t break just because you have been a bit clumsy. Seek out pedometers that are well built and sturdy enough to survive regular use.
Independent reviews: The information provided by the manufacturer about the various pedometers they offer will always be somewhat biased however buyer reviews are always much more honest, useful and revealing. Take time to seek out independent reviews of the pedometers you are considering so you get the “real scoop” on the products in question.
Support: Once you have chosen from the pedometers on offer, what support is available to help you get the most from your purchase? Some companies offer e-books full of useful walking information, instructional videos and other “value added extras” while other do not. Seek out companies that offer additional support if you feel that is something you need.
Pedometers can make a huge difference to the success of your walking program. Choose a good one and your workouts will be that much more rewarding but chose a bad one and you’ll be left wondering why you wasted your money!