How to track those elusive 10,000 steps?

Have decided that I want to start tracking my steps so I know if I'm getting sufficient exercise on non-running days (which they've all been this week because I've got a cold), so I'm looking for advice on the best gadget for the job. I was going to get a Fitbit of some sort but I've seen several reviews recently about them not being reliable/not connecting and heaven knows what else. Hubby thinks I'm just after another piece of tech (a bit of a weakness of mine) but I know myself, and I can be horribly competitive. Suspect knowing I'm short of the day's total would be a massive incentive to get off  the couch and put the effort in. Advice please lovely fellow runners xx


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

56 Replies

  • Hiya, 

    I've had a Fitbit charge since Christmas and it's been pretty faultless. I think the problems occur with which phone you pair them with. I've got an iPhone and like I say no problem. 

    My Mrs on he other hand has had lots of pairing issues with hers and her windows phone, so much so that we bought her an iPad to pair it with instead and now she too has zero issues.

    Hope that helps


  • Cheers Bob, I'd be pairing it with an iPad, so that sounds promising.

  • Save your pfennigs. The 10,000 steps a day thing, while vaguely based in science is an advertising gimmick promulgated by Fitbit et al. It's a good target for people who normally do nothing but for an active person is meaningless.

    "If you run three times a week, you're not going to get fitter by walking 10,000 steps," Williams explains. "You're already quite fit. You're going to need to do more to get fitter than someone who is chronically unfit and inactive. For them, walking 5,000 or 10,000 steps a day will improve their fitness."

  • There you go again Rig, talking complete sense!! *AncientMum tuts loudly* 😀

  • You talk so much sense, I agree with you. ( added to which, I find the tech' aids, whilst running etc, a bit of a distraction..but that is just me.)

  • My Garmin FR15 has a step counter, so I wear it all the time as a watch/step counter and then use the GPS to track my runs.  I think the Vivofit might offer a similar combination. That said I'm thinking of trading up to an FR25 (which I understand basically fixes the bugs in the FR15 in a slightly sleeker package).  And I read Ringold's comment with interest.  Its true I see a huge difference between running and non running days (without running in my life I'd be horribly sedentary.)

  • I knew I should have got a FR15 when I bought my Fr10! I'm afraid I'm horribly sedentary on my non-run days too 😀

  • Oh no, not another cold :-(  Your luck is about the same as mine...

    How about a cheap pedometer? I got mine for about a quid, you just clip it to your belt and Bob's your uncle. If you want it to track distance too you need to know your walking pace length - either count your steps over a distance you know and divide, or walk 10 or 20 paces and measure...they are not completely accurate, about 10% error I've heard. xx

  • Colds are an occupational hazard of working in a primary school, I'm afraid, Sweetie 🤒.  Yes, I did wonder about just getting a cheap pedometer, but I do love a bit of tech......

  • Aha! Caught ya out! Of course, silly me, you really need something for more technical! A new Garmin with step counter at the very least!

    I remember when I worked for my brother and his son had just started primary school. He came home with colds every other week, and I got them all...

  • You got me banged to rights 😂😂 xx

  • Yep... if you need something, I agree, get a cheap and cheerful... we used to get them free for all the children at my last school!

  • I remember those halcyon days of educational freebies, Floss. Sadly, these days, to quote Mick Hucknall, "Money's Too Tight To a Mention" x

  • So true....( sigh) :)

  • I have a misfit shine.  I try not to use the 10,000 steps all the time because I have to force myself to do rest days anyway.  My main use is for distance when I don't have my Garmin on.  It's very accurate within 0.5km so it's good for walks but mainly use it to work on my sleep.  I can see the times I need to use a sleep hypnosis app to get a deeper sleep.  A good nights sleep I think is one of the best things you can do to help your running.  

  • You're so right about a good nights sleep RFC. My problem isn't lack of sleep though, it's lack of movement on non-running days. Perhaps there's a pedometer app I could download to my phone. Humm that's a thought....

  • I think Runtastic do one for Apple and android.  I used their products before my Garmin and still use their Stregnth apps.  

  • Oh cheers RFC, I'll check it out x

  • My wife just uses a Rosemary Conley pedometer that clips onto her waist.

  • Another vote for the pedometer 😀

  • I have a Fitbit, that I use to record my workout and heart rate, and it works well with my iPhone and laptop but not so well with my Android tablet.

    Anyway you do not really need a step counter to know how whether you met a specific step goal; if you walk about 7-8km (about 75min) you've done those (in)famous 10,000 steps.

    But Rig is right; 10,000 steps is nothing for someone who is even just moderately active. Just walking to/from the office or the supermarket is likely to require those many steps, if not more.

  • Cheers m'dear 

  • Whilst the above may be true, you asked for a reliable method of tracking your steps.  I've had an cheapo pedometer (the type that clips to your waistband) for years and I think I got it from Wilko.  It cost about a fiver and is still on its original battery.  I bet if you go on ebay or Amazon you could find an inexpensive one.  I don't use it very often these days, but it's amazing how FEW steps you take when you're not doing any specific exercise and if you don't have a job.  Bumbling round the house cleaning and ironing doesn't actually involve much movement (though I am known for my vigorous vacuuming).  If nothing else, wearing the pedometer makes you think about taking a walk after lunch just to get the numbers up, so it's useful from that point of view on non-running days.  As I'm having a little health blip at the moment, I'm not running as much as I would like, but an afternoon walk really helps with my energy levels, boosts my mood and burns a few extra calories to boot.

  • Ah Sweetie, sorry you're not too well at the moment -thought I hadn't seen you post much recently. Although I do work, it's too far away to walk so, without running, my daily activity isn't always great. And you're absolutely right -having evidence that I haven't done enough in a day would be an incent to do some more xx

  • I'm not too bad, and trying to keep my running going, but I have to take to my bed afterwards oftentimes, so it can be counterproductive!  I'm a great one for letting things slide though, and a pedometer is a good way of reminding myself that I just need to move around a bit more when I'm not running - I will go and dig it out now and clip it on!  I'm off to cycle into town now, which won't presumably be logged by a pedometer though ...

  • Take care Sweetie. Perhaps you need a hideously expensive movement tracker too, to log your cycling of course ;-) xxx

  • What I really need is SUMMER!!! I seem to get a virus every winter, then have a relapse every year in Jan/Feb/Mar, and I know things will improve when the weather does.  I have an admission to make on the cycling - I've got a battery bike, so I can turn on a bit of power when I hit a hill or a strong wind.  I know - it's a cheat!  I bought it when my husband and son were in their furious lycra-clad cycling phase and I just couldn't keep up with them, and now I just LOVE it!  I try to keep the power off for the most part, but it's lovely to just boot it up a bit when I'm flagging.  There.  It's out there now!

  • Genius!! I like your style Useit. My hubby and kids are giants compared with me, so walking with them is a nightmare. If I could harness a bit of battery power to keep up with them I'd be on it like a shot. 

    Totally agree about the need for summer and sunshine. It's the best thing for chasing the bugs (and the blues) away xx

  • Beware though... I am in much the same position as useitorloseit but the electric assist does allow you to go faster than your competence. It took 2 years for the dent in my thigh from a crash to disappear!

    Desperate to get out on it again though...

  • I have a Samsung galaxy phone so use the free S health app.  Just nice to hear it ping during the day to let me know I've reached my goal. AND I  use Strava on my phone to record my run and the S health app thinks im amazing on those days..😁😁😁

    Praise is always welcome..

    I take it out on my dog walk, to the supermarket, and have even put it im my back pocket whilst cutting the grass.

    Don't carry it around the house though.

  • That's interesting Jan, thanks 😀

  • Ive had a Fitbit since October, along with the app it really helps with motivation so i would say go for it.

  • Cheers Andy, another vote for the Fitbit 😀😀

  • Our dog Buster is less happy about our Fitbits. Hes knocking on at 13 for a Border Collie and I keep dragging him out for an extra walk to get thise extra steps in when Im near the next milestone. 

  • That would be me too -I'm horribly competitive -a trait I was unaware of until I started doing Parkrun 😱

  • My dog went so far as to eat met Fitbit!!

  • I love my fit bit flex, tracks all i need and no pairing probs with my iphone.  Hubby has a charge HR has to make sure he syncs it whereas flex syncs all the time!  love doing the challenges with friends - all the friendly banter!  

    I like the fact it does more than steps.  I am trying to be careful with food so i religiously log what i eat Monday - Friday. I found that stops me having that extra snack or dare i say it glass of wine! Also like seeing my sleep pattern etc...

    Hubby's does much more - heart rate, floors climb, watch, tells him who is calling (not sure i like that when it's me calling :) )

    Hope you find the right one for you x

  • Thanks Laura, that's  a really comprehensive review of both models. You sound like you're really pleased with yours 😀

  • Why have I got the strange feeling that what you actually need is a new toy? XP

    If that is the case, I agree with Oscar Wilde's take on temptations: just uncompromisingly succumb to them and buy the toy that makes you happy! :)

  • must... not... make... lewd... innuendo...

  • Just you wash that dirty mind of yours with soap and water, young man!! 😂😂

  • LOL

  • Sensible man! 😄😄

  • Whilst I have a Polar M400 that tracks steps as well as runs etc, my wife has a Fitbit Charge HR, and whilst the Heart Rate monitor is not 100% accurate, overall for the simplicity of app and overall experience, it's great.

    Totally able to track steps, and sleep which is kind of interesting, and will record a run as well if you tell it when you're running (tracking heart rate and calories burned).

    So another bump for fitbit, even though I wouldn't be without my Polar

  • Thanks Pete. The HRM would be an added bonus as my Garmin is too basic to have one. 

  • If you get one AM, give us a review here.  I'd be interested in the sleep tracking bit, as I am a terrible sleeper and sometimes wonder how much I actually get (or not!).  Totally pooped after my bike ride now and off for a lay down :(

  • Big hugs and virtual soothing music heading your way. xx

  • Hellooooo! Sleep tracker is quite scary!!! Really interesting though!!! I'm either unconscious if I've had wine, or move all night and am "restless".  Conclusion. Drink more wine! Xx 

  • Ha ha!  Wine keeps me awake and restless, sadly, though I do partake from time to time, natch!

  • I have used several different models of fitbit and had no problems.  Challenges on the app are good and being able to add friends 😊

  • Another vote for the Fitbit - I'm getting seriously tempted 😄

  • Hi! I had a fitbit flex which was good but basic. I upgraded to the blaze when it came out a couple of months ago. Was so inaccurate. Missed so many steps. So I sent it back and got the surge which is fab. It's a bit bulky but it's accurate, does HR which I wanted, and has GPS. I'm so sad I wear that and my garmin now when I go out as I prefer the garmins stats but don't want to miss the steps!!! Obsessed!!! Xx

  • That would be me too. Garmin on the left arm, Fitbit on the right 😄😄

  • I have fitbit charge. Wear it all day, but not at night as not interested in how I sleep and was worried about skin reacting to strap. I have checked distance against walk,jog,run, and it was fairly accurate over a mile plus. It is linked to iPad and I can log in on laptop.links to mfp. But then I linked it to walk4fun, virtual walks, so now try to beat people along the walks. It does make you realise how far you have moved each day, and how little on a rest day. 

  • I had a Fitbit, originally because I was worried about my sleep, or apparent lack of. I had to take it off to charge it! and then it stopped charging. Changed it for a Garmin Vivofit, have just changed the battery after over a year. Sleeping better, now need to move more.

  • I got a Fitbit Charge HR last December - partly because my husband does love to buy gadgets (just put it on my wishlist as a very idle thought!). Black Friday M&S. Using with iPhone and MacBook.

    I've found it helpful. I would agree that step counting is pointless for the Rignolds of this world, but using a tracker has made quite a few things make more sense to me... why I have to settle down to sleep so early in order to function, why my weight loss is slow even when I consistently stick with 1400 calories (some days I only use 1500)... and looking at patterns of activity to help get the right balance. I particularly wanted a HR tracker because I run so slowly and want to check whether I am doing *any* cardio. It has even meant that various jobs get done which I might otherwise have left. 

You may also like...