How do you know how far you’ve come? There are several ways to measure your walking distance, more than ever thanks to mobile apps, GPS, and computer maps. The best way to use it will depend on whether you are walking outdoors or indoors as well as your budget and the information you are gathering such as distance, speed, calories burned, etc.
Measuring walking distance can be useful for a number of reasons. You may be training for an event or race, following a workout or training plan that requires specific distances, or you just want to record your distance and speed and compare your progress. by the time. Learn about the pros and cons of different walking distance technologies to determine which is right for you.
Mobile GPS application
In the distant past (just a few years ago), you needed a special GPS unit to measure walking distances via satellite technology. But now, GPS is built into your smartphone and used by walking apps that can track your speed and distance, such as MapMyWalk.
Advantages of mobile apps
These apps couldn’t be more convenient because you’ll likely take your phone with you while walking. Besides knowing how far you’ve come, you can also see the route you’ve taken, which can help you navigate back to where you started.
Many pedometers and smart fitness bands, such as the Fitbit, are linked to apps with fitness tracking that will use your phone’s GPS to map and measure your steps. . In addition to measuring total distances, you can often review your route on a map, and some apps allow you to save and reuse the route itself.
Disadvantages of mobile apps
The accuracy of GPS distance measurement depends on several factors. GPS measurements on phones tend to be off by up to 10%. This is because your phone must be in constant communication with multiple GPS satellites.
If your phone does not have a clear view of the sky, it will not lock the location with multiple satellites. If your phone loses contact with one or more satellites, you may experience a sudden jump in distance. If you look at your route as plotted on a map you can see this “GPS jitter” and the errors it introduces.
If you are walking in an area with a lot of tall buildings, in a deep valley or on the edge of a hill, you may find that the GPS is not accurate and the signal loss is more. Plus, GPS is often lost and doesn’t work well indoors. It will not measure your distance on the treadmill because your position does not change.
For a more accurate distance, you can walk on the same route multiple times and compare the distance each time.
A growing number of smartwatches and fitness bands have built-in GPS for distance and speed readings, such as the Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense, and Versa. These allow you to leave your smartphone behind during your walking workout and still receive GPS speed and distance measurements.
Garmin, TomTom, and others make GPS watches for runners and cyclists that also work for pedestrians. They typically display both your speed and distance and can be linked to a heart rate strap or built-in LED pulse detection.
GPS Watch Expert
These are easy to wear, providing lots of data and information. They can be more convenient for on-the-go checking than your mobile app.
Disadvantages of GPS watches
GPS smartwatches are often expensive and can also suffer from GPS errors, meaning they may not always provide the most accurate measurement of your walking distance.
GPS watches have the same disadvantages as GPS on your cell phone, in that they lose contact with satellites and do not work indoors.
Using MapMyWalk online, you can create and measure walking routes. The site allows you to draw routes and read distances. MapMyWalk has both street view and satellite view. You can zoom in on portions of the route that use sidewalks or non-street walkways. With a paid subscription, you can print maps and directions and export them to a phone app to use while walking.
Other online map services include Mapometer, a map-based route planner that calculates distance and elevation of your steps, tracks your progress, and tracks calories you burn. Likewise, Draw Route is another route planner and activity tracker for pedestrians, runners and cyclists like On Road Map, which also tracks distance and altitude. your height and allows you to share your route with others.
Online Map Advantages
They’re usually free or low-cost, and you can use the road that cars can’t reach. Depending on the program you choose, you can save and reuse your routes.
Disadvantages of Online Maps
In some cases, an online map can be tedious to draw. You have to remember exactly where you walked or plan ahead. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t deviate from the roadmap to get the most accurate assessment of your performance.
You can drive a car or measure your bike’s walking distance with a odometer. However, the distance may be biased depending on whether your odometer is properly calibrated for your tire size and other factors.
The odometer is the gold standard for walking events and running races, using a mechanical walking wheel that clicks out to yards or meters. Of course, these are not always appropriate or available for everyday use.
Advantages of tachometer
The odometer is easy to use and accessible to most people with a car or bike. They are usually pretty accurate, which means you can rely on their assessment to stay on track with your mileage goals.
Disadvantages of tachometer
Car odometer will only work on streets where you can actually drive. While a bike odometer can give you more access to paths and trails, you’ll have to invest in both bike and bike odometers. This is also a rather time-consuming operation and may not always give you an accurate reading against a car odometer.
Pedometer and Fitness Tracker
The pedometer and fitness tracker steps are converted into a distance measurement based on your stride length. Many pedometers ask you to measure your stride length and enter it into your user profile, then it will automatically calculate the distance you walk.
For this to be believable, you need to take a very consistent move. It’s wise to use the pedometer’s distance reading for an estimate rather than rely on it as an official result. If your pedometer doesn’t calculate steps to calculate distance for you, there are charts to convert steps to miles and kilometers.
Fitness tracker expert
Pedometers and fitness trackers are relatively inexpensive, easy to wear, and require no extra time. In general, most can provide accurate results on heart rate and calories burned.
Disadvantages of Fitness Tracker
Some fitness trackers, such as pedometers, may not always provide an accurate step count, especially in slower-paced walkers. However, improved technology has made wearable trackers more and more accurate, according to the study. But results may vary if your stride length is inconsistent. Trackers you can wear on your belt, hip, arm, or wrist are often more accurate than trackers in your pocket.
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