Most people take between 2000 to 5000 steps each day, but research suggests that if you manage 10,000 (approx 4-5 miles) accumulated walking steps it can lead to significant health benefits. If done daily, it can make you feel better, reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and offer many other benefits including:
•Help reduce high blood pressure (hypertension) and prevent or delay the development of hypertension
•Helping to control and maintain a healthy body weight
•Helping to control and prevent type 2 diabetes
Pedometers are an excellent way of tracking and measuring the amount of physical activity you achieve each day. They measure how many steps that you make by clipping to your waistband and detecting movements that cause your hip to move up and down such as walking and running. Most models usually offer a conversion into miles/km, a timer and how many calories you have burnt.
Pedometers are relatively inexpensive, and can be a great way of setting yourself goals and targets while you run and in everyday activity. So what are you waiting for - take the 10,000 steps daily challenge!
Heart Rate Monitors
Many joggers now invest in a heart rate monitor. With one of these, you can plan a pace that is comfortable for you and keep at that level throughout your jog. This means that you don’t have to "guess" what speed to run, and you can begin to add more time and miles to your jog as your fitness improves. Heart Rate Monitors are normally worn on your wrist like a watch.
The features that Heart Rate Monitors offer vary with how much you would like to spend. Some extra features that you may find useful are Stop Watch, Lap Counter, Calorie Usage and Distance Run. The information on the top of the range models will be able to be downloaded to a computer to provide detail analysis, but this really isn’t necessary for the occasional jogger!
Treadmills / Running Machines
The weather isn’t always favourable to go jogging in the park, so jogging and treadmill machines provide a great alternative. Like outdoor jogging you still get a great cardiovascular workout, while burning fat and improving muscles. You can also vary speeds to meet your fitness levels, working up from walking pace to a light jog and beyond. The type of machine varies greatly from a basic non-motorised machine at around £80, up to a deluxe top of the range model at over £3000.
Some key features on treadmills;
•Incline - Some treadmills can be varied, so that it’s similar to running uphill. This is a useful feature as it varies your workout and the muscles that you are using.
•Heart Rate Monitor - this monitors how fast your heart is beating. This helps you run at a steady speed, and you can begin to add more time and miles to your jog as your fitness improves.
•Calories burnt - useful for weight loss and diets.
•Programmes - These can help you from getting bored, by varying the speed and intensity of your run to mimic the variances in an outdoor run.
•Belt size - Make sure the belt is big enough for your stride. You don’t want to risk falling off the end of the machine during a workout! An ideal belt size is at least 45x 130cm, but obviously, but this obviously depends on the size of your stride and your budget.