Do you want to walk more? If so, then keep a step journal.
NBC nightly news reported that people who wear a pedometer walk 1 more mile on average, but only if the keep track of their steps. In fact, 20 studies have found that wearing a pedometer prods people to walk more.
In a report for the American Medical Association, Dr. Dena Bravata of Stanford University reports that increasing physical activity depended on setting a goal and keeping a diary of the number of steps walked each day.
“Every night, you write down how many steps you walked that day,” she said. “By flipping back through your diary, you’re able to see patterns, for example, ’On the two days a week I took the stairs, I increased my steps.”
Dr. Bravata and her fellow researchers analyzed 20 studies from the United States and Canada and half a dozen from Japan, Europe and Australia. The average age of participants was 49, and 85 percent were female because some studies targeted women. The total number of volunteers overall was more than 2,700.
On average pedometer users increased their physical activity by about 27% which translates to about one mile more a day than before they started keeping track of their steps.
A step journal was key to increasing activity levels, participants who did not do that did not significantly increase their walking. In addition, pedometer users who did not have a step goal failed to increase their physical activity.
The analysis was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.
Our favorite pedometer to track steps is the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer. Click here for reviews, video and purchasing information on Amazon
The hardest part of a walking program is getting started.
Once you start, you will feel energized and want to walk more. Walking is a free exercise program that allows you to explore your world, meet people and see places you would have missed driving.
One of the easiest things to do is to commit to walking every day for 30 days. You aren’t making a lifetime commitment so it is a baby step in the right direction. After you have taken the baby step. See if you don’t want to continue your commitment for another 30 days.
Here is a video of doctors sharing the benefits of walking to help motivate you to get started:
Get out and get started walking today. Don’t forget to use a step journal to record your steps. You will walk further.