The BEST Way to Measure Body Fat
What Is the Best Way to Measure How Far You've Walked?
How do you know how far you have walked? There are several ways to measure your walking distance, with more available than ever before thanks to mobile apps, GPS, and computer mapping.
Using Mobile Phone GPS Apps for Walking Distance
In the ancient past (just a few years ago) you needed a special GPS unit to measure walking distance via satellite technology. But now the GPS in your smart phone and is used by many apps for smartphones that can track your speed and distance, such as . It couldn't be more convenient, since it's likely you're bringing your phone along on your walk. Besides knowing how far you've walked, you can also see the route you've taken, which can help you navigate back to where you started.
Many smart pedometers, such as Fitbit, are linked to apps that have an exercise-tracking function that will use the phone's GPS to map and measure your walk.
The accuracy of the GPS distance measurement depends on several factors. Phone GPS measurements tend to be off by as much as 10 percent. This is because you phone must have frequent communication with multiple GPS satellites in the sky. If your phone doesn't have a clear view of the sky, it won't be locking position with as many satellites. If your phone loses contact with one or more satellites, you can see 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 many tall buildings, or in a deep valley, or next to a hill, you may see more GPS inaccuracy and loss of signal. Plus, GPS is often lost often doesn't work well indoors and won't measure your distance on the treadmill.
Besides measuring total distance, you often can review your route on a map, and some apps allow you to save and use the same route again. For better distance accuracy, you can walk the same route several times and compare the distance each time.
Sports GPS Watches
Map and Measure Your Walk Online
You can lay out routes using online. The website allows you to draw the routes and get a distance reading. MapMyWalk has both street view and satellite view. You can zoom in on portions of the route that use a sidewalk or path that isn't along a street. With a premium subscription, you can print out maps and directions and export them to your phone app to use while walking.
You can drive a walking route in a car or on a bike with an odometer and measure it that way. The distance may be off depending on whether your odometer is properly calibrated for your tire size and other factors. The gold standard for walking events and running races is to use a mechanical wheel that clicks off each yard or meter.
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