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Track How Much You Move

fitness tracker device

You may think your days are action-packed, but are they really?

Think about how much time you spend sitting in classes, watching TV, or hanging out. Maybe you're not getting the 60 minutes of physical activity that it takes to be healthy, after all?

The best way to know if you're hitting your goal is to keep track of how active you are. Scientists know that people who count how much they move feel motivated to do even more. When you see yourself meeting goals and getting better, you can get more of the energy you need to keep exercising.

Here are some fun ways to keep track of how much you really move.

Start a chain reaction. Build a chain out of construction paper links or paper clips. Make it 21 links long.

Take off a link every time you spend 20 minutes moving. Aim to break off three links a day. It should take you 1 week to break the whole chain. You'll be surprised at how great you feel when all the links are gone!

Map your progress. Pretend every minute that you move equals 10 miles. Then keep track of your progress on a globe or map. How far can you get in a week? A month? Can you make it across your state? How long will it take you to get to Washington, D.C.? Circle the world?

Remember, your mom or dad can help you chart your progress or come up with cool destinations for you to "visit."

Get in step. Pedometers are small, watch-sized devices that clip to your waistband and count how many steps you take each day. They don't cost much, so maybe everyone in your family can wear one.

Have a contest to see who covers the most ground in a day, a week, or a month. Or compete with yourself: You hit 5,000 steps today? That's great. Can you add an extra 500 steps tomorrow? Not close to your mark today? That's all the more reason to get off your butt when commercials come on and jog in place, do some jumping jacks, and add more steps to your daily total.

Chart your progress. Write down in a diary what you do for exercise and for how many minutes. Put stickers on a calendar for every day that you reach your 60-minute goal.

Ready to get moving? Get Off Your Butt .

Here are some ways to get started. Try This: Stretching Exercises .

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on June 12, 2018