There are lots of products designed to help you keep motivated when undertaking your walking programme. Some are fairly low tech such as pedometers, which you simply attach to yourself and off you go, whilst others like smartphone fitness apps need a little more work but will provide you with more in-depth statistics.
A pedometer is a device that estimates the distance travelled on foot by counting the number of steps and/or miles walked. A basic pedometer can be bought for only a few pounds. You will need to perform an informal calibration before you start using it because the distance of each person's step varies. Once this is done, simply clip it on and get walking: you can measure how many steps you have taken and how far you have walked.
Your smartphone can help you with walking in a number of beneficial ways:
- GPS - The phone’s GPS function is useful for showing you new routes to walk and will make sure you don't get lost if you are in an unfamiliar setting. Google Maps for Android and Maps on IOS are good places to start as they are generic GPS apps. For structured walks, you may want to download specific walking apps. An added benefit of the GPS function is that others will know where to find you keeping you safe whilst out on your walk
- Apps - Walking and fitness apps are great for motivating you to keep up with your walking programme as they can show you where to walk and give you full statistics on how far you have walked (steps and miles/km), your speed and how many calories you have burnt. There are many apps available - see below
- Music - Music on smartphones can motivate you and energise your workout while helping to pass the time. A number of walking apps will also use audio to motivate you. Keep the volume at a low enough level so you can hear what is going on around you
- Safety - An added benefit of the GPS function is that others will know where to find you, keeping you safe whilst out on your walk. Smart phones and devices also have features that will ensure your safety if you fall or get lost, eg
Other useful apps to support a walking programme include:
- Charity Miles - Earn money for charity when you walk, run, or bike. IOS and Android
- Health – IOS Built-in App. On IOS 8
- iFootpath - Online walking guides and directions for the UK. IOS and Android.
- Mapmywalk - GPS walk tracking app. IOS, Android and Windows phone
- Runtastic - GPS running and walking fitness tracker. IOS, Android, and Windows phone
- Pedometer+ + IOS