1. Get a good pedometer.
The first thing to do is go buy a good pedometer. I recommend the Ormon HJ112. I bought one at CVS Pharmacy a long time ago under the Active Step logo. It’s just a private label version of the HJ112. Also, don’t overlook shoes and clothing, you want to be comfortable.
There are many types of walking applications for smartphones, I’ve tried some, but I always come back to a basic pedometer, but you might like the high tech stuff. I prefer keeping it simple. If more high tech is your thing then go check the Google Play store or Apple store. Also, your local sports shop with have some interesting gadgets.
When I met @JohnLusher for the first time last month, he was wearing an activity bracelet that records activity and sleep. In the future I might give something like that a try.
2. Setup pedometer for your stride and weight.
Next thing to do is set up your pedometer per instructions. If you want an accurate measurement of miles and calories burned, you need to set your stride length and weight correctly. Personally I don’t care about miles I only count steps so that’s not that important to me. Although I did set my stats accurately because I keep track of calories.
3. Put the pedometer in your pocket and start walking.
The next thing to do is put your pedometer in your pocket. It must stay on your person every waking hour to record all your steps. Everything counts. If you walk at a moderate pace for 10 minutes or more you will see aerobic steps recorded. I try to do at least 60 aerobic minutes per day.
4.Track your steps
One other thing I recommend is keeping track of your steps. I use a spreadsheet. Keeping track helps you stay motivated. I also use an app and website called “my fitness pal” to keep track of my calorie intake. The site sets a calorie goal, but I pretty much ignore the goal, I’m just interested in recording what I eat. I use the goal the site gives as a general guide only. Most days I eat more than the stated goal, because I refuse to starve myself.
The first month I just kept track of my daily steps to see where I was. When I first started using a pedometer I was on a job that had a fair activity level, so I recorded 6,000 to 8,000 steps in an average day. My current job has a very low activity level, it’s only 2,400 to 4,400 steps a day.
5. Start slowly
Although the eventual target is 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day, you should start slowly. The basic rule is walk instead of riding. For instance take the steps instead of the elevator or escalator. My personal rule if it’s one mile or less to get there I always walk. My goal is 10,000 plus steps 5 days a week. I work 4 12 hour days in a row, so I only walk two of those four work days because I get so little sleep on work days.
6. Make it fun
Make it fun. I walk outside and I walk on a treadmill. When I walk outside I always have my Nikon or cellphone to take pictures. Also, I try to walk different locations so I get a change of scenery.
When I walk on a treadmill I watch movies or tv programs I’ve purchased, also I might listen to an audio book or music both inside and out.
7. Benefits of Walking
For me the primary benefit has been normalization of blood pressure. Before I started walking on a regular basis, my blood pressure has always high even on medication. I am still on medication, but my blood pressure is always in the normal range.
The second benefit is I am able to maintain a reasonable weight and eat what I want, within reason. I do use portion control, but I eat anything I want.