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Summer is upon us. As the days heat up our exercise motivation often starts to cool.

If spending time indoors at the gym isn’t very appealing, you may look to the outdoors where fresh air and sunshine are great partners for a warm-weather workout.

Before you start, you may want to walk your way to a new pedometer. Clip this step counter to your waistband and start tracking every step you take.

A good pedometer will run you less than $20. It’s a bargain that’ll give your summer exercise program a boost. Here are a few reasons why:

1. It makes exercise easier. When you use a pedometer, you don’t have to dress in exercise clothes or waste time traveling to and from a gym. Instead, a pedometer helps you track all the steps you take no matter where you are – at home, work or even on vacation. It also doesn’t require pricey health club dues or equipment.

2. It encourages you to move more. By wearing a pedometer, you’ll get credit for all the walking you do. People who wear a pedometer say they’re motivated to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to park their car farther away, to take a walking break instead of a coffee break, to walk to mail a letter, and to take their dog on longer walks.

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3. It helps you track progress. We recommend you set a goal of 10,000 steps per day. Research shows sedentary people take just 2,000-4,000 steps per day, moderately active people take 5,000-7,000 steps per day, and active people take 10,000 steps per day. Depending on your activity level, the 10,000-step goal may not be an immediate goal. Set new weekly goals of 500 extra steps per day.

4. It helps you lose weight. Many overweight people are more successful losing weight and burning more calories by following a pedometer program rather than a structured exercise program. The pedometer is helpful for many reasons: it’s a step-tracking tool, an activity feedback device, and – most important – it’s a physical reminder to boost your activity level.

I hope these tips will encourage you to get yourself a pedometer, start a brisk walking program and enjoy weight loss success.

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