As I noted here a few months ago, my health regimen has a secret weapon. I use the Fitlinxx system at my local YMCA to log my exercise and stay on track. I also keep a computer on my bike to log the miles I ride each week.
(Fitlinxx systems like this one can also measure the weight you lift. I did 16 tons on my local Cybex machines before coming in this morning.)
Now there is scientific evidence I am no dummy. Today's Journal of the American Medical Association reports on a Stanford study showing people who wore pedometers actually got more exercise.
Dr. Dena Bravata looked at 20 studies of pedometer use and found users increased their level of exercise an average of 27%. The studies gave subjects a sealed pedometer for a week to measure their pre-study level of exercise.
Two more important findings, which are substantiated by my own experience. Keeping a diary is important so you can measure progress. Having a goal is important.
Computerized systems like Fitlinxx will maintain a diary as a matter of course, even measure your progress against other members.
And I love the new odometer on my bike. I'm so looking forward to rolling over the 1,000 mile mark. Too bad the thing measures up to 100,000 miles. Darn that new technology!