Walking monitoring equipment includes such devices as pedometers and pulse monitors. While not necessary, these may be items you want to purchase as you become more serious about walking.
A pedometer is a device that gives an estimate of the distance you travel on foot. It senses your body motion and counts footsteps. This count is then converted into distance using the length of your stride, which you typically have to measure and input before you can use the pedometer.
One way to do this is to mark off a 100-foot stretch of level ground. Then as you walk that stretch, count the number of strides you take. When you've reached the end of the marked distance, divide 100 by the number of strides you took and enter the resulting stride length into the pedometer.
If you enjoy jogging as well as walking, however, be aware that you can't use the same pedometer -- set to the same adjustment -- to gauge your performance in both activities. (That's because your jogging stride will be longer than your walking stride.)
Instead, you'll either have to get two pedometers -- one for walking and the other for jogging -- or you'll need to keep adjusting the same pedometer back and forth for the two activities.
Some pedometers attach to your waistband, while others are placed around the wrist or built into shoes. Some devices can also estimate your average speed, the number of calories you burn, and the amount of time it takes you to walk a certain distance.
Several types of devices are available to measure your pulse as you walk. Some are hand-held. Others are worn on the wrist like a watch. There are also pulse monitors that strap around the chest and measure the electrical impulses of the heart, much like an electrocardiogram.
Pulse gauges offer an advantage over manual pulse-taking because they allow you to find out your heart rate while you walk, instead of having to stop to count heartbeats. (Remember, your heart rate begins to slow down within 15 seconds of when you stop walking.)
Some very elaborate pulse monitors are available that use ultrasound technology to measure the heart rate.
Find out ways to stay safe while walking in our final section.
To learn more about walking, see: