How to Use a Pedometer
To get the best results from your pedometer, you need to wear it correctly. Typically your pedometer should be worn on your waistband or near your hips. By being close to your body and properly aligned with your knees, the pedometer will have a more accurate count of your steps.
All pedometers work a little differently, but it is best to find a lightweight model with a large display screen. One easy-to-use model is the best-selling Omron Pocket Pedometer HJ-112. It comes with a detachable belt clip and security strap and is actually one of the few devices that can be carried in your pocket or bag--not just around your waist.
Familiarize yourself with the basic buttons on your pedometer. Most have an on/off switch, reset and memory buttons. Read carefully through your instruction manual for complete details about your device.
First you want to measure your stride length. To do this, walk/run 10 steps at your normal stride and measure the distance in inches. Divide that amount by 10. For example, if your 10 steps measured out to a distance of 320 inches, you would divide that number by 10 and get 32 inches--the distance of one of your steps. For the HJ-112, you would take this number and convert it to feet and inches (12 inches in 1 foot).
Now that you know your stride length, continue setting the time and basic body info into your pedometer (if it calls for this). Input your appropriate stride length into the device. Once your pedometer is calibrated and set, you should be ready to go.
"When used correctly, pedometers can be a very beneficial training tool," said Active Expert and coach Jenny Hadfield. "By gauging your daily distance and steps, you can improve your training at your own pace."
Sign up for your next race.