The tech of walking

Technically Speaking

There was a time when people walked because they had to, but those days are no more. Walking has come to be one of the most popular and simplest exercises, but with advances in technology, “Low-Tech” walking has turned into a very “High-Tech” activity.

In the past, when you decided to go out for a walk, you just went outside and began walking. If you wanted to tech it up a little, you could use your watch’s stopwatch function to see how long you walked. Then along came the pedometer. With the pedometer, you could count your steps as a way of measuring your progress toward set goals. Pedometers were not always very accurate, however. New technologies have made it easier to track your walks much more accurately.

The website Mapmywalk.com allows you to map out your walks and share them with others. Once you’ve created your profile you can track your walking habits, create goals, and chart your progress. You can also save your favorite routes to your profile and share them with other walkers on the site.

Why not use your smart phone’s built in GPS capabilities to help keep track of your walks? There are many apps for iPhones, or other smart phones, that can help you keep track of your walking activities. These apps use the built in GPS on your phone to track your coordinates as you walk. Your route and progress can be monitored on your phone as well as on a Google map which can be displayed on your phone or the Google Maps website.

And if it’s too cold to get outside for your walk… never fear! The treadmills of today are not the same old boring treadmills of yesterday. Today, many treadmills are Internet-connected devices with display screens that allow you to plan out a walk using Google Maps, and walk it using Google street-view mode. You no longer have to go outside in the dark or blustery weather to walk the block again. Just input the route that you want to walk into the treadmill and you’ll be able to see the route in front of you on the treadmill’s screen with all the buildings, houses, and landmarks that Google has in its Google Maps street-view data. There’s one less excuse for not going out for that walk.

Whether your walk takes you outside or has you staying in, technology certainly has added some new twists to help keep the road to achieving your exercise goals more fun and interesting. As we always say at the end of this column, to learn more about this or other current issues, please stop by the Dewitt Community Library located in ShoppingTown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. East.

Technically Speaking is co-written by the DeWitt Community Library’s Paul Morrell and Scott Mosher.

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