Why is the importance of counting my daily walking steps?
Thanks to all the various health monitors available, its become trendy to count your steps on a daily basis. While some would say this is trendy, its actually a great way to challenge ones self by setting goals and increasing ones activity level.
Some of the many benefits of a regimen of walking are:
- Getting outside, or to the gym is great for ones mental health. Being in the fresh air and interacting with other people can lessen depression and anxiety.
- Walking helps one to manage their weight. By lowering the BMI one reduces the risk of a myriad of diseases.
- Walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What app should I use to count steps?
There are several popular apps that are good for counting steps and tracking physical activity. Many of these apps are available for both Android and iOS devices and can be used with various wearable fitness trackers. Here are some of the top step-counting apps:
- Fitbit: Fitbit is a well-known fitness tracking app that pairs with Fitbit devices. It offers step counting, activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. It’s available for both Android and iOS.
- Apple Health: If you have an iPhone, the Apple Health app comes pre-installed and can track your steps and other health-related data. It can integrate with various third-party apps and devices.
- Google Fit: Google Fit is available for Android and iOS and provides step counting, activity tracking, and additional health metrics. It also syncs with various fitness wearables.
- Samsung Health: If you’re using a Samsung smartphone, Samsung Health is a built-in app that tracks steps, activities, and various health-related data.
- MyFitnessPal: MyFitnessPal is a popular app for tracking both nutrition and physical activity. It integrates with various fitness trackers and can count your steps. It’s available for Android and iOS.
- MapMyWalk, MapMyRun, and MapMyFitness: These Under Armour apps are designed for tracking walks, runs, and various workouts. They also count your steps and offer GPS tracking. They are available for both Android and iOS.
- Pedometer, Step Counter & Weight Loss Tracker App: This is a standalone step counting app available on both Android and iOS devices. It doesn’t require a wearable device and uses your smartphone’s built-in sensors to track your steps.
- Runtastic Steps: Runtastic Steps is a simple step-tracking app available for Android and iOS. It provides information on daily, weekly, and monthly step counts.
- Endomondo: Endomondo is a versatile fitness app that tracks steps, activities, and more. It’s available for Android and iOS and can integrate with various fitness wearables.
- Strava: Strava is primarily known for tracking cycling and running, but it can also count your steps and walking activities. It’s available on both Android and iOS.
Please note that the availability and features of these apps may change over time. It’s a good idea to check app store reviews and updates to find the most suitable step-counting app for your needs and device. Additionally, if you have a wearable fitness tracker, it likely comes with its own app that can count your steps and provide additional fitness tracking features.
Tips for a successful walking routine:
Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you. Choose good footwear with a stiff heel counter and proper support. Needless to say, this can be augmented with a pair of custom orthotics for support tailored to your own feet.
There are three variables to push your limits while walking. Speed, distance and elevation. By varying the pace, mileage and vertical gains you can stress yourself which is the way to make gains in your endurance. Try to change one of these variables each time you go for a walk and it will force your body to adapt to the various stresses, and keep your excursions interesting.
Pay attention to the weather. Walking in high heat or humidity is more taxing than in a temperate situation. Don’t decide not to keep your routine in warmer weather, just be prepared by staying hydrated, wearing a hat and using sunscreen.
One can use walking as a way to reconnect with friends and family. I have a weekly hike group that keeps me feeling connected with my circle and adds to my enjoyment in being outdoors by sharing that experience with people I care about. This keeps me motivated both for myself, and the people I hike with.