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10000 steps a day sounds an awful lot to do, especially when you work out that it takes a good six miles to achieve this, and that's if you have a pace of nearly a yard in length. At work at the start of the year, we had a talk from a wellbeing guru, who recommended taking up regular exercise and starting something new. I've always enjoyed walking quite fast, but thought that I would now try to do a good brisk walk every day, and so far have managed to keep it up.
I've had a few pedometers over the years, all of which were cheap and cheerful until I heard about the Omron Walking Style Pedometer (not the snappiest of names!). Instead of the usual £5 or so, this set me back more than £22 from Amazon, and this apparently represented a discount from £30.
The trouble with the other pedometers was that they were mechanical. For a start, they clicked out loud as you walked. Secondly, none of them was particularly reliable in operation. Quite often, you could walk 500 steps and they would only count half of them. Furthermore, I would find myself listening for the click inside the machine in the hope of reassuring myself that they were working, instead of jsut enjoying the walk. At the same time, though, I started to keep a daily record of my walking.
In the end, I gave up on the cheap pedometers, and, for a while, worked out my paces and distances by calculating from how fast I walked, the length of walk and my pace length, but when I read about the Omron, with some favourable reviews on Amazon, I had to try it.
The big difference is that it works by using a sensor rather than a moving part - so there's much less wear, making it stay accurate for longer. You can input your weight to the nearest kg and your pace to the nearest cm, so the calculations it makes for you can be pretty accurate. Also, you can clip it to your belt, put it in your pocket or even somewhere like your golf bag and it still counts well.
It is certainly much better at recording my steps than the cheap mechanical pedometers I have had before. I've tested it now for three weeks, and am very impressed by the accuracy of the figures. I know that I walk at about 140 paces a minute when walking for exercise, and check the readings frequently on the Omron. It agrees!
It's a gadget, so it will also tell you how many calories you have used and how many grams of fat you've burned up. Another cool thing is that it records you aerobic exercise time, by waiting until you have walked continuously for 10 minutes (at 60 or more paces per minute, so not fast) and then keeping a separate count of this. It even allows you resting periods of up to a minute within this continuous count.
It keeps records on a daily basis, resetting every 24 hours, so I set the time for this at a time of day when I know I'll not be out walking. You can access the daily records in detail over a weekly period by clicking buttons on the Omron, but it gets better! The Omron comes with a CD and USB connection, so that you can download up to 41 days' worth of data to your PC. There's a neat little programme which allows you to set targets and to measure your own performance.
Once the data is there, you can do all sorts of geeky things with it, as the programme will then chew over your data so that you can view your performance retrospectively on a hourly basis. This can appear as an Excel file or on a pdf. I suppose if you were worried about being a sleepwalker, then you could pop it into a pyjama pocket (assuming certain things here!) and check up in the morning whether you had been anywhere......
Batteries are those flat metal ones you get in watches - easily obtainable for less than a pound a time, and they are supposed to last for about six months. I'll update this review when the first battery gives up.
All in all, the Omron looks smart, is inconspicuous to wear, makes no noise and works accurately. It's also fun and satisfying to use. And it encourages the healthy pursuit or walking. It has helped me to get to know the district where I live so much better - in a car, you miss almost everything, especially the fascination of interconnecting footpaths. And on top of this, if you like gadgets, then it gives you a double whammy!
So the government say we should be walking 10,000 steps a day. With a pedometer its easy to see if you are achieving this recommended goal.
I have had a few cheaper pedometers, one free from Walkers and another cheapo one from the Avon catalogue. I bought this one because the previous two either kept sticking on a number or moving on every bounce or small movement. Although this one isnt totally fool proof it is much, much better.
This pedometer also has a few additional features to the cheaper types.
* It uses sensors to measure steps meaning it is more reliable.
* It has a lithium battery so is long lasting.
* It has a clock and calorie monitor.
* It comes with software to load your personal info onto your PC.
* Belt clip (pretty standard) but doesnt have to be used just on a belt.
The best feature of this pedometer is that it is so personal. You can set it up for individual events such as a run or walk and monitor the amount of calories you have burned, no of steps taken and distance traveled. Although this is a novel feature I don't use it a lot of the time. I mainly bought this product for the simple pedometer feature.
For people who track their walks this is probably very useful. It compares walks/runs and gives you a smily face to show you how well you did that particular time.
Overall I would recommend this product. At around £23 from Amazon it is expensive for a pedometer but if you make use of the extra features it is more than worth it.
Omron Walking Style Pro
I have been trying to get healthier and lose a bit of weight recently. I don't like to diet so although I am watching what I eat my main aim is to increase the amount of exercise I do. Walking is a great form of exercise as well as being cheap and unless it is bucketing down rain I usually find it enjoyable.
I have in the past owned a number of different pedometers and this has been the best of the bunch, it is simple to use and it is pretty accurate in its results. Of course with all pedometers there is a level of inaccuracy but this pedometer uses sensor technology to record your movement rather than a pendulum, which does make it harder to fool it into thinking you have walked further than you have. I do find that sometimes when I am on my elliptical trainer it actually underestimates the amount of steps I have taken. When I first started using this it took me a little while to get use to because this doesn't update instantly, sometimes when you check it I think it's all wrong but then a few seconds later the number shoots up.
It is recommended that you should be walking about 10000 steps a day, which I was quite surprised to find that I don't always reach. I do most days now because I have a puppy to walk, but you really do need to get a bit of motivation to get those steps in. I find that I tend to walk further when I am using the pedometer because I want to get to the goals I set. I have also loaned this out to my husband to give him an idea of how much he walks and moves around during an average week day. It is really quite enlightening because before I got this I would have said I walked a lot more than I actually did back then.
The pedometer is really easy to use and has three buttons that are a nice size and controls all the settings. When you first insert the battery it will ask you to input your details in which can be changed at a later date. I tried to be as truthful as possible to make the pedometer more accurate and to work out the calories I burn from that days walking activities. I think the hardest thing to work out is your stride length but after some fun with a tape measure I had a pretty good idea. This pedometer also has a 7 day memory that is easy to access and will show you how you have gotten on over the week. It also has a clock on the main display, which is handy for me as I am always forgetting to put my watch on.
One of the main features of this pedometer and one of my favourite things about it, is that it not only records the steps you take but it breaks it down into sections. It has an aerobic counter that will tell you how many steps were done walking at a continual pace for more than ten minutes, allowing small breaks of under a minute. I think this is great because it is this kind of aerobic walking that really helps shift the pounds rather than the lazier moving around the house. It's also nice to see what percentage of your daily steps are aerobic or just steps here and there. As I mentioned you have to be walking for more than ten minutes before this setting will kick in and you really need to keep walking, I have seen myself walking round in circles waiting for the dog to finish sniffing at whatever he finds so fascinating.
There are quite a few different clips and attachments that come with this pedometer, I primarily use the main clip, which is a separate piece of kit that you slide you pedometer into and then it allows you to clip it to belts, jeans, pockets, etc. The clip is quite sturdy and it is quite large, allowing you to make sure that it is secure. I have never had a problem with this falling off after I have made sure it was securely in place. Alternatively you can take the pedometer out of the clip and it makes it small enough to easily fit into your pocket, sometimes if I am trying to be more discrete then I just pop it into my back pocket and it really isn't that noticeable as it is quite slender on its own.
There are a lot of small features I liked about this pedometer, simple things like when it arrived in the box they had included a small screwdriver for you to use to easily access the battery compartment. A previous one I bought didn't have this and it had me and my husband hunting around for sometime looking for something small enough that would work.
It is available in a choice of colours and I own the black and blue version. It looks really nice and relatively discrete. I have also found that even thou I have dropped this it hasn't yet scratched and still looks nearly as pristine as the day I got it. I have had mine for less than six months but the battery still appears to be going strong.
This is the best pedometer I have owned to date and I would highly recommend this one to other people, therefore, it gets a full five out of five star rating from me. In fact I have already bought another one for a Christmas present to a family member. They are available to buy online and in many stores for around about £15 - £30 depending upon any special offers.
Just as a side note. The Omron Walking style pedometer I own is slightly different from the one listed above as it is a walking style II pedometer, but it looks very similar and has a very similar set up. In fact I believe that it is pretty identical apart from the pro comes with software to download your walking stats onto your computer where as the style II only displays the previous seven days history for you to read off the pedometer screen.
I have used a few different types of pedometer in the past, from a quite expensive Weight Watchers one that a friend gave me, to very cheap ones that were not accurate at all and would either count steps when I wasn't do anything, or not register the ones I DID take. I first saw the Omron Walking Style Pedometer for sale on Amazon for around £20 and although it sounded great according to the reviews and ratings, I didn't really want to use my Dooyoo Amazon voucher up on one little device, so I didn't buy it at the time.
Browsing on eBay though, I found this new and boxed Omron pedometer for sale for just £9.40, so I thought that that was quite a saving and I allowed myself to get one when my old one stopped working properly.
I have found pedometers or step counters to be a really good way of keeping track of the amount of daily walking you do, as I like to fit exercise into my day without it feeling like a chore. Pedometers help you to count your steps as you walk and encourage you to do the 10,000 steps which it's recommended you take to be fit and healthy. This stylish little pedometer has a clip on the back so you can attach it to your belt, though it can look a bit bulky if you have tight clothes on. Alternatively, you can put it in your pocket, or hang it around your neck as a pedometre pendant and it will still accurately measure your steps.
The gidital display screen is very big so I've had no problems seeing the numbers, even when I'm just glancing down at it.
The Omron Walking Style Pedometer tells you the number of steps you've taken over the course of a day - but not just any old kind of steps. What makes this pedometre unique is that it recognises the difference between two types of steps, everyday walking (like wandering around the office at work, or sauntering to the shops steps) and aerobic steps, where you're power walking, going faster than usual and obviously putting more effort into your exercising. This is a very motivating aspect to the pedometre as it made me want to put more effort into amassing aerobic steps rather than just walking around whilst the kettle boiled to up my count.
You are also able to easily input information on how many steps it takes you to cover a certain distance (not far, just a few metres) so the device can estimate the actual distance you've covered over the day too. The pedeometre comes with easy instructions on how to do this, so it's very simple to use. I really like this feature as finding out I've walked 10km during the day gives me a very nice feeling! The device also claims to tot up the amount of calories used, but I'm not sure how accurate that part is, as everyone burns calories differently and I don't know quite how it can tell just how much effort you're putting in.
I love the fact that the device tots up your details over a week, so at the end of it, you can see which days you did best on, how far you walked over the week etc. To top it all off, this device has a clock, and as someone who doesn't wear watches (I use my phone instead) this is very useful.
I've counted some steps myself to test the accuracy of the device and in the few months I've been using it it's stayed accurate in terms of distance covered and also of the number of steps taken. I've no way of checking if the calorie counting function is right, but I imagine it can't be far wrong if the others are accurate. Overall I am really pleased with this pedometer - it's accurate, easy to use and encourages me to not only take more steps but to put more effort into them too.
I really do try to keep fit and to exercise as much as I can. I'll take the stairs at work and walk to a friend's house rather than drive whenever possible. I do like to know how much good it is all doing me though which is why I recently invested in my OMRON step counter. My husband and I each got one from Amazon about a month ago and they have been our constant companions ever since.
I did discover that you could pay a little or a great deal for this type of pedometer. The OMRON step counters each cost us £17.24 reduced from £30. I thought this was pretty good value especially as they qualified for Amazon's free delivery. As sixty six Amazon reviewers had already rated it five stars I felt that it would be money well spent - which it was.
There are a number of things that this pedometer can tell you about how you are exercising. Firstly it tells you how many steps you have taken within the space of twenty four hours and as it resets itself to zero every day you do not need to think about this. It also distinguishes between normal steps and what are termed aerobic steps and this sets in when you are taking a higher level of exercise. This is quite motivating as it makes you want to increase the number of aerobic steps per day as you know that they are doing you greater good. The other things that this step counter can tell you is how many calories you have burned (not sure how accurate this is!) and also the distance you have covered. In order to tell you about distance though you have to input a small amount of information about how many steps it takes to cover a certain distance before you start using it. This is very easy to do.
As you can see this little gadget tells you a lot more than just the number of steps you are taking and it is very easy to switch between the different modes. Also it has a seven day memory so you can check how well you are doing over a week and maybe compensate on some days by taking more steps than you do on others. There is just one other thing that makes it invaluable and that is the fact that it also has a clock. I was out the other day and realised that I had forgotten to put my watch on which I hate as I always want to know the time. Luckily, with my step counter I realised that it did not matter as I would always be able to know the time anyway!
It is very easy to attach to your clothing too and there are a few different ways in which you can do this. You can slot it into a plastic hooker which then will attach to a belt or the waistband of a skirt or trousers. I find this makes it a bit bulky though and it does not really hide discreetly under your clothes. Also a couple of times it has fallen off and I did nearly lose it after just a couple of days which I was not happy about at all.There's also a necklace you can attach it to so that it simply hangs around your neck. You can simply put it into a trouser pocket or your bag and it will register just as well. I don't like the idea of putting it in a bag though as there's a danger that I might put the bag down and then go striding off without it! Just keeping it in my pocket seems the best option to me but I do have to remember to swap it over if I change during the day.
Now having the OMRON step counter does not make you exercise more but it definitely does make you think. It also demonstrates that if you don't deliberately exercise it is extremely difficult to take the recommended ten thousand steps per day - yes 10,000!! Sometimes I am quite dismayed by the small number of steps that I have taken especially on the days that I don't run on my treadmill. It makes you think in a good way though as you start wondering how you can make up some steps like I might suddenly suggest to my daughters that we can go out for a walk! Oh, and of course, you do have to remember to put it on every day!
The OMRON step counter does come with instructions and these are in a number of different languages. In English, they are very easy to follow!
Overall this seems to be a very good product. It's accurate, well made, multi functional, easy to wear and makes you think. I would definitely recommend it if you are keen to monitor the number of steps and the exercise that you take on a daily basis.