Are there any alternatives to using a pedometer?

Use time. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that all healthy adults (aged 18 to 65) and older adults participate in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (ex. brisk walking) for a minimum of 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (ex. jogging) for a minimum of 20 minutes three days per week.

You can also use a free website like or to calculate your distance, pace and route maps.

It depends on what your reason for using one is.

Pedometers are tools that track or count the steps a person takes by detecting the motion of the hips. Unfortunately, this has an error rate, because it will count erroneous movements depending on how sensitive the device is.

With the advancing of technology, pedometers are being integrated into smartphones (like iPhones, Androids, etc). They are also being integrated into HR monitors and calorie counters etc.

Well I do not want to sound like too much of a homer but I am partial to the Exerspy.  Exerspy by dotFIT is a device that not only tracks total steps but based on the parameters set monitors total activity levels for the day as well as calories burned.

Logging your food is just one step in the calorie management process.  You also have to know how many calories you burn as well.  Generally if you are trying to lose a lb a week you have to be in a 500 calorie deficit.  So if a female is averaging 1600 calories then they need to average about 2100 calories expended per day.  The Exerspy can monitor this.

If you want to lose 2 lbs instead of 1 per week you do not want to decrease calories instead you would want to take calories expended from 2100 calories on the average to 2600 calories.

I for one do not like doing my cardio in a gym and much prefer being outside.  The step counter on the Exerspy allows me to base my exercise per day on the number of steps taken.  I shoot currently for 10,000 steps per day.  So if I am not active I need to get out once per day and be active.  If I am active all day then my steps will show this and some days I do not have to do additional cardio.

With today's advancements in technology and accessibility combined with and some traditional methods there are several alternatives to using a pedometer.

If you are interested in calculating distance walked vs. steps taken here are a couple of suggestions from new school to old school:

  1. Mobile device/Smart Phone: Using your mobile device or smart phone their are several apps that can be utilized to monitor and even record the distance traveled during a walk or jog. You can also use some of these apps to estimate the caloric burn during your activity.
  2. Automobile: Upon completing your walk or run, jump in your car and re-trace your path from start to finish. At the point you started reset your odometer and measure the total distance traveled. Relatively accurate in providing you with your mileage for the day.
  3. You & Math: Count the number of steps you take over a specific period of time (i.e. 60 seconds). Remember that number and at the end of your activity multiply the number of steps taken in the minute interval by the total elapsed time. That number will be a rough estimate of the total number of steps taken assuming your pace was consistent.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.