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Looking to Shape Up for Summer? The Solution May Be the Steps You're Already Taking
Date:7/14/2009

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer is officially here, and that means longer days and warmer weather are afoot. The season is also notoriously a time when people want to get in shape. Yet nowadays, hitting the gym can be daunting, especially with so many people pressed for time and money. But good news - there's an easy way to shape up for summer that's accessible, affordable and can accommodate even the busiest of schedules - it's walking. No wonder it's the number one fitness activity(1) for adults. And with the simple addition of a few fitness goals and a pedometer, you have everything you need to elevate your walk to a workout.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090714/CG45935)

Walk It Out

Many people don't realize the walking they already do each day is a positive step to help them get fit. In fact, studies have uncovered a long list of benefits from walking, including reduced body fat, lowered cholesterol and blood pressure as well as increased flexibility and mental well-being. It's widely recommended adults take 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent of about five miles, which can be achieved by walking 30 - 60 minutes at one time or in multiple 10-minute increments over the course of the day.

Walking is also a key component to many fitness plans, including that of trainer-to-the-stars, Ramona Braganza, who's helped shape some of the hottest bodies in Hollywood from Jessica Alba to Halle Berry. "For me, being fit is a lifestyle. I'd be bored just going to the gym every day. That's why I always recommend walking to my clients as a great form of exercise," Braganza said. "Adding a few easy things into your daily routine can help you make sure that every step counts."

A Passion for Pedometers

One of Braganza's favorite fitness tools is a pedometer, which can help keep track of the steps you're already taking and give you a benchmark for measuring progress. Research shows that using a pedometer can increase physical activity by about 2,000 steps(2) - or an extra mile - each day, proving that it's also a great motivational tool that can push you to go further.

"I arm all of my clients with a pedometer to ensure they're still held accountable, even when I'm not there," Braganza said. "It's like having a personal trainer in their pocket that keeps pushing them to go further."

Braganza recommends the GOsmart(R) Pocket Pedometer from Omron, which features smart sensor technology making it one of the most accurate pedometers available. Using smart sensors, it can count steps whether it's clipped at your hip, buried in your pocket or even attached to your bag, and since there are no moving parts, there's no annoying clicking sound. Trusted for its accuracy, the GOsmart(R) line of pedometers allows you to track steps taken, calories burned and distance walked. Coupled with a seven-day memory, it provides everything you need to chart progress, compare to your goals and proactively manage your shape-up strategy.

Free Downloadable "Further Your Finish Line" Tip Sheet

Along with incorporating a pedometer into your daily routine, some of Braganza's other get fit tips include:

  • Warm Up First. Before you walk, perform some dynamic stretching exercises (arm circles, hip circles and leg lifts) to get your blood flowing and reduce the risk of injury. Always wear comfortable shoes, preferably ones with arch support.
  • Mix it Up! Add variety to your walking program, especially if your personal fitness goal includes weight loss. Try alternating intervals of fast walking with intervals at a slower pace. Walking up hills is also great for a challenge.
  • Add Resistance. Include some upper body exercises as you walk, such as arm reaches overhead or to the sides to add another dimension to your walk and increase calorie burn. Hold small water bottles while you do the exercises for added resistance.

Visit www.gosmartpedometers.com to download all of Braganza's tips or learn more about GOsmart(R) pocket pedometers, including models HJ-112 (MSRP $34.99), HJ-113 (MSRP $34.99) and the HJ-720ITC (MSRP $59.99) which allows you to download your data directly to your PC. GOsmart(R) Pocket Pedometers from Omron are sold online and at sporting goods stores nationwide.

About Omron Healthcare, Inc.

Omron Healthcare, Inc., located in Bannockburn, IL, is the North and South American sales and marketing office of Omron Healthcare Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of blood pressure monitors for home use. With more than 80 million monitors sold worldwide to date, Omron Healthcare Group was the first to introduce manual and digital blood pressure monitors into the home healthcare market. Omron Healthcare offers innovative products and medical devices for use in sites ranging from hospitals to the home in the blood pressure monitoring, fitness diagnostics, thermometry, and respiratory categories. Omron Healthcare markets clinically proven products that provide accurate health information to consumers and physicians and support positive lifestyle changes and health improvement. For more information, visit www.omronhealthcare.com.

(1) National Sporting Goods Association, 2007

(2) Stanford School of Medicine, November 20, 2007

    CONTACTS: Caroline Guth
    Weber Shandwick
    312-988-2410
    cguth@webershandwick.com


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SOURCE Omron Healthcare, Inc.
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