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Wendy Bumgardner

How Far Did I Walk?

By November 14, 2011

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How do you know how far you walked? There are several tools that you can use.

  • Cell phone GPS: I have used the AllSportGPS for the Blackberry and the iMapMy app for the iPhone. If you have a GPS-enabled phone, these work well outdoors.  As with any other GPS, they don't work for treadmill walking, since you have to move from place to place for it to record distance.  And they probably won't work indoors, in narrow valleys, or heavily wooded areas because the signal to the GPS satellites may not get through.
  • Pedometer: A pedometer can estimate distance, but it is only an estimate based on your average stride length.  If you have a very even stride and you have accurately measured it, and you have a good pedometer that doesn't overcount or undercount your steps, this is a nice estimate.
  • Online Maps: You can draw your walking route on an online map to see the distance, such as our Google Map Pedometer, or the MapMyWalk site.
  • Wheeling It: Our walking club has a surveyor's wheel to push to measure the walk.  That was always our "gold standard" for measuring walking routes.  You can also use a car odometer if you can drive the route, or a bicycle odometer.  But those may end up less accurate as they are dependent on using the tire size the odometer was designed to measure for.

Which is the most accurate?  To measure our marathon route for our walking festival, we used the MapMyWalk online mapping, and I checked 6 mile sections of the route with the surveyor's wheel and my cell phone GPS.  All methods were within 95% of each other.  I decided we would go with the easiest method -- mapping the routes online.

Comments
May 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(1) YellowBlue says:

Another easy to use mapping website is http://www.mapxing.com

It also allows you to keep a history of your walks.

May 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm
(2) janet duffy says:

i have been walking since january 2010 havent lost a flipping ounce, alot fitter just joined slimming world and hopeing for the best. really enjoyed your web site as i am new to exercising

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