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Step up to health.

Using a step-counter, or pedometer, is the number-one change in behavior recommended by Indiana University fitness expert Carol Kennedy for people who want to increase their level of physical activity.

"Most people overestimate their level of activity," said Kennedy, a lecturer in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation's Department of Kinesiology. "The pedometer holds you accountable. Once you know your daily average, you can be confident that any additional activity will add up to better health."

Some pedometers can be programmed to track speed, distance and calories burned, but simple versions that count steps can also estimate how active a person is throughout the day.

"We've all heard the advice of 'Park your car farther away and walk more,'" Kennedy said. "The pedometer will help you see just how much more you are walking when you make good choices to be active."

Enhanced daily activity adds up to significant health benefits and more calories burned without the use of specialized exercise equipment. Mopping the floor, taking out the trash, or pacing while on the phone can all amount to heart-healthy movement.
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Publication:Medical Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
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