Friday, February 28, 2014

Counting Steps

A few weeks ago I was out walking a dog--I seem to always be walking a dog!--and I wondered just how many steps do I walk in a day? Years ago I tried clipping a pedometer on my belt, but the technology was so primitive then, it wasn't easy to use the gizmo and the readout was terrible.

How things have changed! Now smart phones have accelerometers, and that means my iPhone can be my pedometer.

Lovely Daughter #1 helped me pick an app that counts my steps and produces a bar graph. (There are far more fancy pedometer apps that allow you to note things like the weather, the terrain you're walking on, maybe even your mood. I could not care less.)

Just the steps, please. So now, here's what I see when I check my app:

The big red number is how many steps I've walked that day. I took this screen shot early in the morning, so I was just starting out.

At first, I chose a goal of 10,000 steps daily. But that's ridiculously easy to hit when you walk three dogs individually, twice a day. So I raised the goal line to 11,000, and then 12,000 steps. (The goal line is the thin horizontal line in the graph above.)

When I'm really rocking' it, the graph for the day shows a diagonal break, as it did for February 13 and 14. At the bottom of each bar, it shows how many miles I did. Thank goodness I walked 16.8 miles that weekend, because I also consumed a lot of Valentine's Day chocolate and wine:

If I fall really short, the bar shows up red for the day. (That's what happened on February 6--but really, I just forgot to put my phone in my pocket as I hiked the canyon for an hour. My total would've been much closer to the goal line otherwise.) If I'm falling short of my goal but not by too much, the bar for the day is orange:

There's also a screen on the app for raising or lowering your daily step goal, and for entering your height (which I did) and your stride (which I didn't, which is why it says "Estimated Stride").

The app doesn't really make me take those walks (my dogs do that!). But the app sure makes it more satisfying to have concrete evidence of a job well done. Or walked.

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