How can I count my walking steps without a pedometer?

Elizabeth Casparro, MPH,RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
To count your walking steps without a pedometer, you just need to track how long it takes you to walk 1 mile (4 laps around a track).  1 mile equals about 2,000 steps.  

You can count your walking steps a few ways without using a pedometer.  Your first way, count them out!  Tedious, yes, very!  However, the option is available.  A more realistic approach would be to estimate how far a tenth or a quarter of a mile is.  Count your steps for that length and then multiple by ten, if counting for a tenth of a mile, and you will have your distance for a mile.  If counting for a quarter of a mile then multiply that number by four and you will have your steps for a full mile.  In addition, the average person will require up to 2,000 steps for a full mile, that being said, you can estimate that each mile will requires 2,000 steps and you can figure out how many steps you complete by the amount of miles you walk.

Joy Larison

One, two, three, four...Using a pedometer is handy as it does the counting for you. However, if you don't have one, consider a hand held counting device such as are used to count people entering a turnstile. Chose your right or left foot and each time it strikes the ground click it. If that isn't possible, you can count your steps manually.

I always like to set a step goal for the day. I am in a step challenge right now, so my daily goal is 20,000. Depending on where you are in your fitness level, set a goal to get moving a little more each day. Before long you will be going 20,000 steps a day and beyond!

If you take a regular walk on a daily basis and would like to know how many steps you take without the use of a pedometer, you can simply count the steps it takes to cover the distance and use a simple clicker to tally the count at the end. You only need to do this once, since it's the same distance every time the step count is not likely to change much...

However, if your goal is to log a certain amount of steps per day so that you can later convert those steps into a certain amount of activity performed daily or calories expended, then instead of using a pedometer, consider using a heart rate monitor. 

A heart rate monitor is like a speedometer for your heart. It is a device that is worn like a watch and when coupled with the transmitter, which is a light, thin strap worn around your chest, it can be a very useful tool! A heart rate monitor not only provides you with your heart rate at any given time during any given activity including your walk, but when you program them with your vital statistics such as your age, weight, gender, etc. it also calculates the amount of calories you are expending, along with other information. All heart rate monitors today can last for years requiring very little maintenance and are all simple to use & water-resistant. Also, there is a heart rate monitor to meet almost any budget, and the information about your workouts that they provide can be useful enough to far outway the initial cost.

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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.