Pedometers – Are They Really Worth It?

I considered buying a pedometer. As I plowed through the online reviews, it struck me that people really love their pedometers. Even in my Weight Watchers meetings, people talk about the wonders of pedometers. It’s as if this little device came from the fitness gods and holds the key to unlock the mysteries of weight loss.

Well to that I say:

That’s right. I call Shenanigans!

Sorry, but I just don’t see it. It counts steps. It’s just a tracker and not much else. Yeah, I’ve seen the articles about how it inspires you to get moving. I started a blog about my weight loss journey…how much more inspired do I need to be? It just seems that I would have to obsessively track all that I do. That’s not how I roll. I just don’t want to over think this workout stuff.

Do I track what I eat? Yes. Do I track my walks? Yep. How about my workouts with my trainer or other activities? You betcha. But I can do that via Weight Watchers’ eTools and it takes about 15 seconds. Not much effort involved. Yes, I have been using MapMyWalks for my daily walks. I would love for it to count steps too (it might, but I don’t want to pay for it). Sure, the data it provides helps me push myself a little more each walk. But it’s on my iPhone. So is my playlist. And a way to call for help. Both of which I consider a necessity when walking. I just don’t want another gadget to carry around.

So I looked at pedometer apps too. Sigh. I just thought, I’ve got too many apps as it is. And lets get real. If Weight Watchers were to add a kick ass walking tracker to their app, how long do you think MapMyWalks will last on my phone? The fewer apps, the better I say.

Am I missing something?

Working Out With The Pups

Peekabu passed out after her walk.

Peekabu passed out after her walk.

Since we are seeding our lawn, we have to walk the dogs. They get 4 walks a day. It’s the perfect amount of exercise for them.  Peekabu could lose about 5 lbs. We’re taking advantage of our spring weather as VA summers are not ideal for walking Old English Sheepdogs.  Shadowfax, our Mini Schnauzer is at the high end of his weight so it couldn’t hurt him to lose a few pounds.  He’s 10 and the the walks are giving Shadowfax a little perk in his step. Always a good thing.

I do the noon and late afternoon shifts. Each dog is only allowed one pit stop along the walk for sniffing or whatever.  So the pace is pretty good and I feel that I’m actually exerting myself. If I have to clean up after a dog, the pace gets a wee bit faster until I come across a trash can.

I walk each dog separately. Peekabu, as well behaved as she is, does occasionally get spooked. At that point I need both hands to control 90+ lbs. of rambunctious fury.

Having already done my 2.5 miles this morning, I decided to actually track the walks with the dogs. We do a simple walk around our block. Distance? Half a mile. So .50 Miles x 2 Walks =  1 Mile.  The dogs’ afternoon walk is a bit longer, so I’m curious to see where that ends up.

Loving My Walking App

So far I’m lovin’ MapMyWalk. It is very easy to use (always a good thing for an app), its FREE (bonus!) and I love that I can track what I’ve done for the week.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 5.03.33 PMI’ve just been using the record function when I start my walks – no set routes. I use the voice feedback function to tell me my pace, speed and calories burned. It also provides elevation stats to boot! Granted, I’m not facing any real inclines, but I’m working up to it, I promise.

I’m going to test its Create a Map function tomorrow morning. I’ve decided to create a walk around a park nearby our house. I’m shooting for 2.5 miles tops.

Hopefully I’ll have my walking playlist set by then. Who knew choosing the right songs would be so dang hard?!?

As for my progress, my pace picked up today – I averaged 17.03 min/mi compared to 17.39 min/mi on Monday. Sweet!