Native Pedometer Trekking
Why is this important?
- Pedometer trekking programs are designed as a series of local foot trails tailored to the fitness levels of participating community members.
- The variable terrain of natural outdoor environments provides increased interest and energy expenditure, and helps reduce cardiometabolic risk factors.
- Exposure to natural sunlight helps in vitamin D synthesis and may improve seasonal affective disorder.
- Course distances are validated by pedometer measurement and can range in miles or total steps counted.
- Brief stops and activities along the trek can be added that include cultural and spiritual landmarks specific to the community.
- Locate several foot trails or park-like courses (or local less-traffic roadways) that circulate through the community or pueblo.
- Complete a Pedometer Course Certification indicating trekking level and level of difficulty.
Certify the course:
- With a well-engineered pedometer (e.g. Accusplit 2720, New-Lifestyles, Walk4Life) walk off a course, carefully keeping the same relative walking pace throughout the course.
- Repeat this measurement. The two step count measurements should agree within 5%. Average the difference between the two measurements.
- Draw out the course and post the approximate step count with a notation that the posted step count is approximate and depends somewhat on height and walking pace. Actual individual step count will probably agree within 10% of the posted step count.
- Label courses as Level 1, 2 … and note their level of difficulty depending on terrain and grade.
Establish trekking level:
- Level 1: 1000 – 3000 steps (0.5 – 1.5 mile courses)
- Level 2: 3000 – 6000 steps (1.5 – 3 miles)
- Level 3: 6000 – 10,000 steps (3 – 5 miles)
- Level 4: >10,000 steps (>5 miles)
Identify level of difficulty:
- Easy (minimum terrain/grade)
- Moderate (moderate terrain/grade)
- Difficult (significant variable terrain and grade)
- Provide recommendations for trekking level and level of difficulty.
Individual Trek Recommendations
- Those who are obese and or have diabetes should begin with Level 1 courses.
- Level 1 courses with variable-terrain treks should be recommended for adults who have been previously sedentary and/or who are at moderate cardiometabolic risk (i.e., ≤2 risk factors).
- Level 2 or 3 course treks are recommended for those who have previously engaged in Level 1 courses with no adverse musculoskeletal or cardiorespiratory symptoms or responses.
- Level 4 courses and or difficult treks are recommended for those who have previously engaged in Level 3 courses and had no adverse responses.