I was reading an interesting article in my local newspaper the other day. I say it is interesting because it raises an issue about some of the motivating factors involved in exercising.
Any regular reader of these columns will know that part of the fight to handle osteoarthritis is exercise. And of course, many of us would rather not think about that side of things.
Walking and the Role of a Pedometer
I have talked about the importance of low-impact exercise regularly and offered that great gains can be made by just walking. I have also mentioned pedometers. However, even those of you who do walk on a regular basis may find this interesting.
The article says that those who use a pedometer walk greater distances than those who do not. They had 97 senior citizens in this study between the ages of 55 and 97 plus those who were using a pedometer walked an additional 1,032 steps day. Each of them reported that they were feeling healthier and had an increase in their physical activities.
Now, these simple little devices attempt to "measure" the amount of walking that you do. And as I have said before, they do not have to be expensive. I have seen them for as little as $10-15.00.
The Motivation Factor and the Benefits
Apparently, by using a pedometer the individual felt more motivated to accomplish more with their walking activity. And not surprisingly, the overall benefits reported were better muscle endurance; sleep patterns; improvement in balance; and significantly, less pain.
Of course, that chronic pain issue is one that every arthritis sufferer has to deal with. If this simple step of taking regular walks is accomplishing all of these things, it certainly makes the efforts worthwhile.
How the Locals Fared
This study was so popular when the results were announced that when the center that conducted the study ran an "ad" to recruit others, they ran out of pedometers. That tells me a lot. The positive benefits you gain from walking far outweigh any possible inconvenience factor. As I have often said, this is an exercise program that anyone can get involved in. The only investment is a little time.
Speaking about Pedometers
For those of you that have never used one of these devices, they are not all the same. And I do not mean in terms of price. As these study participants came to realize, they might walk the same distance every day but the reading from the pedometer varied.
That is easy to explain. It depends on "where" you place the device on your body. It does not really mean a great deal in the overall picture. The idea is to get you walking.
I don't think there should be any real question here. Walking is good for you in a lot more ways than fighting pain from arthritis. So as I see it, you just need to motivate yourself. Of course, that motivation appears to get stronger if you will use one of these simple devices.
You know, based on the results of this study, a pedometer might make a great "stocking stuffer."
If you will excuse me, I think I am going out for a walk.
Best wishes to you all for the holiday season.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®