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Find out which pedometer is best for you

It is said that the longest journey starts with just one step. On your journey to weight loss and better health, it's important to track each and every step, and the best way to do that is with a pedometer.

What Is a Pedometer?

Pedometers are small machines, worn on your body, that keep track of distance. By sensing your body movements, a pedometer tracks your steps and calculates how far you've gone, which you can then use to determine your pace.

Athletes utilize pedometers to regulate workouts and track progress, but anyone can benefit from wearing one. Some people put one on in the morning and wear it to work and around the house, working toward a predetermined number of steps per day. Casually wearing a pedometer not only gives you a good idea of just how active you are, but also allows you to set goals and motivates you to work just a little bit harder to make activity a regular part of your day.

What to Look for in a Pedometer

Pedometers can be as simple or as elaborate as you want or need. Digital pedometers sometimes feature the option to count the calories burned (based on height and weight information you enter), but some people prefer the nondigital ("old-fashioned") versions because calorie counters may be inaccurate. A talking pedometer can announce your mileage and step count, tell you the time and sound alarms to remind you to start or stop working out, as well as play melodies whose rhythms match your pace.

Seek a reliable brand with a good reputation. Omron pedometers are known for their durability and affordability, as well as their ease of use, but there are many great products on the market, priced anywhere from $20 to $200.

What to Look Out for

Once you've purchased your pedometer, make sure you're using it correctly. Some inexpensive models need to be positioned evenly and vertically or else they won't accurately count your steps. Note the proper way in which to wear your pedometer—wear a pedometer watch as a watch, for example, and not strapped around your belt. Improper wear will likely lead to inaccurate results. Also, make sure your battery is healthy and the pedometer doesn't get wet—if it doesn't have enough power or if the components are damaged by water or sweat, it'll be useless.

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