Woman Walking on TreadmillSometimes we need a goal. Something to move us forward and keep us on track. Everyone has their own way of doing that–like knowing there’s a nice meal waiting at the end of a week of diet and exercise, or joining up with a friend who is holding you accountable. Today researchers at Indiana University have found another way you can move more and feel better. With a pedometer. You know–those little machines you wear on your hip that count the number of steps you take during the day. Working like your own little box of encouragement, people who wore them moved more.

During this study, men and women with desk jobs were asked to wear a pedometer and then send it’s data to researchers electronically. Study results were consistent: pedometers, along with healthy diet and exercise helped participants lose an average of 2. 5 pounds more than people who didn’t wear them.

Generally, healthy people should walk about 10,000 steps a day and a pedometer gives an accurate representation of that goal. If you are planning to walk, keep a few tips in mind:

  • Keep your head up and look ahead while you walk.
  • Keep your neck, shoulders and back relaxed.
  • Swing your arms freely with a little bend in your elbows.
  • Move smoothly with a heel to toe motion. Come down on your heel and roll onto your toes. Don’t smack your feet flatly up and down.
  • Try to take 22 steps every 10 seconds to achieve a great cardiovascular workout.

What are your goals for healthy living? Walking is a great way to get in a low-impact but effective workout–just make sure you are going fast enough. A simple stroll and leisurely pace that allows you to laugh and chat with others is not enough to benefit your body. Use this opportunity to push yourself. Try to reach 22 steps every 10 seconds and use workout music that has intervals built in.

Walking can be a great part of your healthy living plan and adding a pedometer can help you see your goals and motivate you to get moving. Get started on your path to a healthier you today!