Choose Your Exercise Routine

By Dr. Jean Harvey, Ph.D., R.D., Joyce Hendley, M.S., EatingWell Editors, "Choose Your Regimen," The EatingWell Diet (2007)

Tips to help work exercise into your daily life.

Tick, Tick, Tick: The Power of the Pedometer

Need a little push to get you started moving regularly? Consider investing in a pedometer or step counter. This little wearable device tracks the number of steps you take daily—every single step, including walking down the hall to the bathroom and going to the mailbox. It can be powerfully motivating to see how many steps you’ve taken by the end of the day, and how easy it is to add a few more.

While most of us can easily fit in an additional thousand daily steps without having to become serious walkers, most step-counting advocates suggest aiming much higher. A good starting goal is about 2,000 daily steps—that adds up to about one mile. Work up gradually, increasing your steps by about 500 per week, until you’ve reached what many consider the ideal goal of 10,000 steps daily, the equivalent of five miles.

A good pedometer doesn’t have to be expensive; a reliable model will cost about $20 to $30. (Not long ago, a major fast-food chain was even giving them out for free with a “healthy” meal combo!) For the motivation it delivers, it’s well worth the investment.

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