WHAT I DO Wear a pedometer daily and recommend the tactic enthusiastically to others. It measures steps and calculates miles and calories -- and is a great incentive to walk. What began as a neat gizmo has become a personal crusade.
HOW IT HAPPENED Last year, I received a small pedometer as a door prize at a professional meeting I attended. I loved it. I got so many inquiries about it that I contacted the manufacturer about ordering some with our company's logo. Then I talked to the manager of our company store. She was skeptical. "I'll get 10," she said. I told her, "You're going to need hundreds."
I mentioned it at a large leadership retreat. The president of the nonprofit research institute where I work offered to subsidize pedometer purchases by 50 percent. We have now sold 800 of them. I have testimonials from people aged 11 to 78.
THE FEEDBACK We're a research company, so we immediately sent out a questionnaire asking employees how they liked it. People told us they liked that it was small and easy to use. One person wrote, "It's definitely made me more aware of how much I'm walking." They also told us what they liked least about it: You've got to wear it on a waistband, so women who are not wearing pants have got to wear it on their underwear -- that's a little weird -- or put on a belt.
CLOSER TO HOME I'm a physician who's board-certified in preventive health and a former assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service, so I know how important it is to get exercise. I really try to get to 10,000 steps a day. On the days I take Metro, I always achieve it. Toward the end of the day, if I haven't done my10,000 steps, I give the dog an extra walk or go for a walk with my family. I got a pedometer for my wife, too. She walks the kids to school to get her steps.
-- Douglas B. Kamerow, Chevy Chase
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