We all know that one of the healthiest exercises the average person can do to improve their overall health is to begin a walking program. It's low impact, strengthens the cardiovascular system, tones muscles and burns calories. Throughout the day, the recommended number of steps you should take is at least 10,000 steps. This is easily attainable by combining your dedicated walking plan of a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes and the steps you take through normal tasks you do at home or work. Always remember that you can safely increase your step totals as your fitness level increases.

What many people fail to do with their walking program is to accurately record the number of steps they are actually taking. That is why I always recommend that you wear a pedometer daily from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. Even the basic pedometers will give you a good record of how close or far away you were to reaching your 10,000 steps each day.

In fact, some pedometers have advanced to a computer-based technology and can give even more insight into your progress. These pedometers are called accelerometers. I have many everyday clients and professional athletes wearing the ActiGraph, a specific type of accelerometer that stores data electronically and automatically downloads information to their computer. They can check their progress at any time. I can even access their electronic chart so I can better understand how to help them achieve their goals. It is easy, convenient and incredibly useful.

The top five benefits of the ActiGraph are:

Accurately Counts Your Step – The accelerometer is extremely accurate in counting every step you take. About as big as a quarter, the lightweight design clips to your shoe and you forget it is there.

Tracks Your Steps to Time Of Day – The computer program displays not only the number of steps, but also the time of day you take them. It is very important to see when you are most active.

Records Intensity of Steps – The accelerometer allows you to see the pace of your walking or running steps.

Charts Step Trends – Since fitness goals should always be long term, the program keeps track of the previous weeks and months. Being able to see trends over time is vital to understanding the successes and potential areas of improvement.

Calculates Average Calories Burned – Knowing the number of calories burned in a day can establish your recommended caloric intake needed for optimal weight loss results.

Mackie Spotlight

EJGH’s very own Mackie Shilstone, Executive Director of the Fitness Principle, is in New York working with Serena Williams as she goes for another U.S. Open title. As Williams’s Fitness Coach, Mackie will be part of the team preparing her for matches throughout the tournament. To give everyone a behind-the-scenes look at how Williams prepares for every opponent, Mackie is writing a daily postcard for Nola.com detailing all the day’s happenings. Check back daily for updates. 

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