Pedometers help you motivate and follow the amounts you walk daily. Today we will talk about pedometers for seniors.
Walking is extremely beneficial for your health and it should be the stable of your daily exercise routine as you age. While getting plenty of walking daily is relatively easy, it’s even easier to let it go.
The unfortunate truth is that in the modern world you barely have to move a muscle to get around. If you don’t naturally like exercise, it’s very easy to move around by car and only do activities that involve sitting or lying down.
While this might seem like a good idea if you don’t enjoy exercise, I’m sure you have heard how important exercise is for our health. It’s actually even way more important than most people realize.
Simply put, if you don’t move, your body starts to deteriorate and becomes frail and becomes stiff and inflexible. Walking is the perfect cure for this.
A pedometer helps you measure how much activity you are actually getting and to motivate you to be more active. Let’s look at what exactly are pedometers and how they work. And where to get one for free.
What is a pedometer
A pedometer is a device that at the most basic level measures the number of steps you take in a day. Some pedometers can also calculate the distance you walk. It’s one of the most useful exercise equipment for seniors.
Pedometers accomplish this by using accelerometers (either mechanical or digital) that recognize the impact of your step. If the pedometer counts distance as well, it needs to be calibrated for your individual stride length as it simply multiplies the number of steps with your stride length.
Pedometers are used mainly for two reasons these days. For personal and medical monitoring of activity levels and for increasing motivation to increase your daily walking distances.
First records of pedometers actually go all the way to the days of Leonardo Da Vinci who designed a step-counting device for military use for measuring distances.
Pedometers have been shown to be relatively effective in motivating people to increase their step counts and thus activity levels.
One of the things a pedometer helps to solve is the fact that most sedentary people overestimate the amount of exercise they get daily and underestimate the benefit of adding short walks to their daily routine.
When you realize how much simply walking to work or to the grocery store daily can increase your overall step count, you tend to make better choices when it comes to choosing a form of transportation.
So by using a simple pedometer and keeping a daily step count goal, you are much more likely to go by foot to run errands instead of choosing the car. Or simply take a walk.
Benefits of walking for seniors
Walking is something we humans are designed to do from our feet to our brains. Walking is essentially the status quo form of exercise for healthy individuals.
We are biomechanically designed to walk for extended distances and there are even reward mechanisms in our brain for this. I’m sure you or someone you know has had the experience of having epiphanies or improved mood after taking a walk.
When you walk at a steady pace without distractions, your brain starts to process thought differently. You stop ruminating and actually start solving problems at your mind. It’s no wonder many famous geniuses of the past thought highly of walking.
Besides the cognitive benefits walking is also an excellent form of low impact cardiovascular exercise that keeps your heart healthy. It also helps to keep the bare minimum of strength in your legs and maintain your balance skills as well as help you with fat loss. So walking help you keep your heart healthy and even reduce flabby arms!
Many people have this misconception that you have to do seriously strenuous exercise several times a week to have any health benefits and thus they don’t even bother with light exercise like walking.
This is simply the wrong way to look at it. While it’s true that strenuous exercise is more effective for improving your athletic abilities, for health any form of activity is beneficial.
More and more studies are showing the huge negative health effects of being inactive and sedentary. Simply doing an hour of strenuous exercise in a week is not enough if all you do is sit around the rest of the week.
Medical experts are unanimous that it’s much more important to avoid being sedentary and include as much of physical activity in your daily routines than to do very strenuous exercise for health benefits.
My recommendation for seniors is to live an active lifestyle which includes plenty of walking and doing activities on your feet and combining that with a couple of sessions of strength training each week. And the strength training doesn’t even have to be that hard just to stay healthy.
Free pedometer for seniors
So if you want to count your steps but don’t want to invest in an actual pedometer, what to do? You can actually find a pedometer in a couple of devices you might already own.
It’s likely you already own a pedometer, especially if you are reading this on your phone. Every smartphone is equipped with accelerometers that can be used as a pedometer.
Most premium smartphones like iPhones and Samsungs flagships have activity tracking software included, you just have to set up your information on the software and you are set.
If your smartphone doesn’t have a preinstalled activity tracker software, the app stores are full of free apps that can do this. My favorite is MyFitnessPal as you can count your calories and macros with it and it can use your phone’s GPS to track your route.
Also if you have a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, you don’t need a separate pedometer. Step counting is the basic feature of all fitness trackers and they are actually evolved pedometers. If you are interested in getting a fitness tracker, my recommendation is the Fitbit Charge 3.
The great thing about smartphone apps and fitness trackers is that they also log your results, so you can follow trends over time. You can, for example, compare your activity levels between summer and winter months and how that affects your wellbeing.
Simple pedometer for seniors
If you have a few bucks and just want a simple pedometer that doesn’t require setting up complicated devices and software like with the smartphones and fitness trackers, my recommendation is the 3D Fitbud Pedometer.
It’s a simple digital pedometer that is ready to use out of the box, so there is no real need for setting it up. It’s very user-friendly and it’s designed seniors in mind.
The device does what you would expect from a pedometer. It tracks your steps. The benefits over a smartphone are the simplicity and optimized accuracy.
The device is very easy to read because of the extra-large digit display and it has a good battery life because all it does is counts the steps. It also goes to sleep when it detects you are not moving and wakes up ones you start moving again to conserve battery.
A great little gadget if you just want something simple to count your daily steps!
I hope you found my tips for a free pedometer for seniors useful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me in the comments section below. I love hearing from my readers!
Walking is a great form of activity for both your physical and mental health. A simple device like a pedometer can really make wonders for your activity levels when you realize how easy it is to increase your activity levels.
It can also be a real eye-opener to how little activity you are actually getting. There is no better way to start increasing your activity levels than by increasing your daily walking amounts.
Simple things like going for a daily stroll in the neighborhood or switching the supermarket to a grocery store within walking distance can have huge impact on your health if you are otherwise sedentary.
Just remember, all exercise and activity is better than no exercise! It doesn’t how little you add, just do it. You can always progress and you have to start somewhere.
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See you next time.