Amyot credits her pedometer, which counts every step she takes. She says that feedback pushes her to do more exercise every day.
Consumer Reports' medical adviser, Dr. Orly Avitzur, says studies show walking more can have a big payoff.
"Increased physical activity has been associated with numerous health benefits, including reduction of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke," said Dr. Avitzur.
Consumer Reports tested two types of pedometers. The more elaborate ones are worn on the wrist and measure speed and distance, instead of steps.
"These work by using GPS technology to make their calculations. That means they work best outside," said Marc McEntee, Consumer Reports.
Unfortunately, during testing, the satellite connection occasionally dropped out so the pedometers couldn't always give a reading. The high-tech pedometers are also pricey. They cost around $200.
More basic pedometers count steps by detecting motion and are clipped on at the waist or put in a pocket.
"Accuracy was measured by comparing the results of the devices to the treadmill step count, which we know to be correct," said McEntee.
Of the eight pedometers tested, Consumer Reports named the $30 Omron Pocket Pedometer a "best buy." It was the most accurate at all speeds, even when kept in a pocket.
So a new pedometer could be your ticket to getting more exercise, the way Gail Amyot's pedometer has been for her.
"My goal in the next six months is to work up to 10,000 steps," said Amyot.
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