Counting Steps: Do I Need a Pedometer to Lose Weight?

Do you need a pedometer to lose weight?

FitBit’s growing trend among fitness gurus is a testament to the popularity of step counting. Do you track your daily movement? Do you count your steps to gauge your general activity level?

If you are striving for weight-loss, or even working to maintain your weight, it’s a good idea to monitor how physically active you are. A general idea can help you determine a workout plan and adjust your calorie intake to ensure an effective balance.

But does that mean you have to invest in a fancy pedometer to get the job done?

A Personal Preference

Plain and simple, step counting is a personal preference. It isn’t required to lose weight or maintain weight-loss, but it’s definitely a tool in your toolbox if this is your goal.

Think of it as being similar to calorie logging. Some people use a journal to track their food intake and calorie consumption. The data helps them build healthy eating habits that meet their goals.

But on the other hand, this game of numbers doesn’t work for others. It may even worsen feelings of anxiety or become an obsession. The same holds true for pedometers and step counting.

Steps Make a Difference

Whether you track them or not, steps do count. Many experts recommend at least 10,000 steps a day, but even 5,000 – 6,000 steps can make a difference for someone who otherwise leads a sedentary lifestyle.

If you go to estimate the number of calories you burn per day, consider your general activity level. Do you walk to work or to the store? Do you take walks in your neighborhood after dinner? Do you run a lot of errands on foot?

Small activities like these can be referred to as your ADL, or activities of daily living. They burn calories and expend energy, even if you don’t mentally count them as exercise. The work adds up!

Pedometers Help You Make a Plan

The beauty about pedometers is that they’re easy, convenient and useful. Tracking each step you take one by one is practically impossible, but this savvy tool can be a game-changer.

Here’s another popular question: what’s your general activity level? Referring to your pedometer can help you determine where you fit inside these categories:

  • Sedentary
  • Lightly active
  • Moderately active
  • Highly active
  • Exceptionally active

Knowing this information can help you craft a weight management plan. If you’re a heavily active person by nature, perhaps you don’t really need to hit the gym for an hour each night after work.

Final Thoughts:

No, you don’t need a pedometer to lose or maintain weight. You don’t even need it to be healthy. However, it’s an incredibly valuable tool that gives you an objective answer to the question, “How active are you really?”

You also don’t need to invest in a fancy pedometer. Many stores, especially those online, offer basic versions for a reasonable price. If you have a smart phone, you might even have one already as a built-in feature! So many options are available to you.

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