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How Does a Pedometer Help People Reach Their Fitness Goals?

From pedometers to heart rate monitors, there is no shortage of health technology readily available to you in today’s day and age. With this new tech becoming progressively advanced each year, it can be challenging to navigate.

Many people will find themselves in one of two places during their health journey. 

The first is the beginner. You’ve either just recently begun working towards your fitness goals or are about to, and you feel like you don’t really know where to start. 

Or, you are right in the middle of your goals, and you feel like you need something more to help you. 

Both places are completely normal, and everyone will experience them— this is why personal health tracking devices have become so popular. People always need somewhere to start, and when they do start, they’ll always want something to push them further. 

The possibilities are truly endless, whether it’s tracking your carb intake or monitoring your weight loss and gain. In the health technology world, there’s something for everybody. Because there are so many options with different functions, it’s hard to know what you need and when you need it. 

Below, we’ll break down the important facts about pedometers—specifically, their most significant benefits in helping you achieve your health goals.

What Is a Pedometer, and How Do They Work?

Like everything in health technology, pedometers contain some pretty advanced technology. If you don’t recognize what a pedometer is yet, that’s because you may have only heard its basic name: a step counter. 

While the technology behind it may be complicated, its function isn’t. Chances are you know someone who has a pedometer or have seen someone use one on the street. They’re a classic, and they’ve been around for years. 

Today, most people use phone applications to track their steps. Two key components allow this to work, so let’s get into it. 


The GPS is one of the most critical parts of a modern-day pedometer

Chances are you’ve used the maps application on your phone before, and this is the same technology that allows pedometers to work as well. The pedometer can see your location and how far you’ve gone from point A to B. 

This tracking is beneficial as it gives you valuable information on the average time it takes you to reach your destination during a workout. If the pedometer can see where you are going, it can calculate the total distance you’ve traveled and how fast. 

While both parts are undoubtedly essential in making this technology work, it simply wouldn’t be able to function without knowing the details of how far you’ve gone. 

The Accelerometer 

The accelerometer is the technology in your modern pedometer that can track the steps themselves. 

Through built-in sensors, the accelerometer can detect your body movement and tell the steps. The accelerometer can calculate how many total steps you have taken from start to finish with this information. 

While one part can technically function alone, the use of both can help to get a better estimate of how you’re doing in terms of steps for the day. 

Now that we know about the components that allow modern pedometers to work, let’s discuss how and why they can help you reach your goals. 

How Pedometers Can Help You With Your Fitness Goals

While you might be thinking this is self-explanatory, there’s a lot more information some pedometers can tell you about yourself. Additionally, it’s essential to know what the data means and how you can use it to improve your workout. 

A total of 10,000 steps per day is the recommended goal for the average adult. This recommendation will vary depending on how active you currently are, as well as your health status and how realistic it is for you to even take that many steps in a normal day. 

Nevertheless, this number is significant for various reasons, ranging from overall body health to confidence and mental improvement. Let’s dive in. 

Motivating You To “Step” More, and Tracking Those Steps

As you can imagine, reaching 10,000 steps will do wonders for your body. There are so many benefits that we generalized them into one category — overall health. 

Reaching 10,000 steps per day is super important for your routine, whether you're trying to lose weight or gain it. The number may seem high, but trust us, it’s a lot easier than you might think. Plus, with all of the benefits, there’s no reason not to at least attempt to hit that number. 

Using a pedometer to track your 10,000 steps can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol and drastically reduce total body fat. You can complete this process in the form of a long walk, a power walk, or a run.

If your profession requires you to be on your feet all day, great! It’ll probably take less effort to reach your 10,000, and it won’t even feel like work. But, it is still highly recommended that you go for a walk or jog as breaking a sweat will lead to a lot more health benefits than the back and forth down your office hallway. If your profession is a little slower-paced or you’re required to sit in one place for a long period, that’s also fine! That means you can go for more walks or jogs to reach your goal. 

Unless you love counting, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of your daily steps in your head. You won’t be able to know if you’ve hit your daily goal without a little help, and that’s why a pedometer is so important to have throughout your fitness journey. 

Let’s talk about how a pedometer can help you mentally, too. 

Getting Over the Hump

We know exercise and hitting those 10,000 steps are good for your body. But what about your mental health

Starting your fitness journey can seem daunting. There are a lot of unknowns, and you might find yourself questioning if you can do it. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can, and using a pedometer will help you get over that mental hump. 

How? Just set a goal for yourself, and use the pedometer to help reach it. If 10,000 sounds like too much at first, that’s okay. We still recommend you at least give it a try, and you can use a pedometer to get somewhere in the 7,000 - 9,000 range. 

Easing yourself into something new is never a bad idea, especially with a new exercise routine. Start small, and work your way up. There’s nothing wrong with it, and almost everyone will experience that initial mental challenge. 

The mental aspect of achieving your fitness goals can be harder than the physical one. With a pedometer, you can set goals for yourself and achieve your victories while on your way to becoming a healthier you. 

We’ve talked so much about pedometers and personal health tracking devices. If you’re looking for something to truly propel your starter routine or skyrocket your existing fitness goals, Circular can help.

What Is Circular?

Yes, tracking your steps with a pedometer is crucial for your routine. But haven’t you always wanted more? 

With Circular, you can. 

Circular is a small ring you can wear throughout the day and night to track not only your steps but everything you’ll ever need to know about your body to help you pursue your health. 

Circular can tell you what activities are working and how you can improve your routines, diet, heart rate, and sleep. It’s a revolutionary piece of personal health tracking and is so much more than a regular pedometer. 

With a personalized energy score made available to you daily, you can also see how you should approach your fitness for the day. If you gained 15,000 steps yesterday, you’ll be able to know if you should maybe take it easy for today. If your heart rate gets too high, your Circular ring will tell you how long to cool off.

The Bottom Line

Personal health tracking devices like pedometers can help you reach your goals in many ways, such as allowing you to keep track of your daily progress as you continue your wellness journey, which may motivate you to keep going. 

If you’ve been looking for a personal health tracking device, don’t settle for something less than your worth (sorry, pedometers). 

Feel empowered to keep moving with Circular


Optical Pedometer: A new method for distance measuring using camera phones | Malmo University 

Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health: A Systematic Review |  JAMA

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise | HelpGuide.org

Edouard Duquesne

Data Scientist at Circular, Edouard is passionate about healthcare and machine learning. His practice of CrossFit and running makes him the best beta tester of the Circular technology.

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