Best pedometers and elliptical machines

January 17, 2012 8:53:14 PM PST
Walking about four miles a day is touted as an ideal fitness goal.

That's about 10,000 steps. A pedometer can be an inexpensive incentive to help get you moving. A Stanford University study reported that people who use a pedometer, walk about a mile more every day than those who don't use one. If you're ready to take the first step, which pedometer should you get?

Consumer Reports' tested 10 conventional pedometers, three cell phone apps and three GPS watches to narrow down your choices. After logging close to 100 miles, counting more than 120,000 steps on a treadmill and climbing nearly 3,000 stairs, testers found several to recommend. The most elaborate are GPS watches. They use satellites to measure distance. They're highly accurate outdoors. But for $200 to $300, they might be more than a typical walker really needs.

For a mere fraction of the cost, consider a conventional pedometer, which clips right onto your waistband. The Mio Trace pedometer is top rated and it costs $30. It's easy to use and rated excellent for accuracy. It also has added features like a calorie counter, a stopwatch and a regular a watch.

Or, spend just $5 on this basic Sportline Step and Distance from Walmart, which rated very good for accuracy. Either can put you on the road to better health.

If you're wondering about a cell phone app, Consumer Reports says two rated very good for accuracy and they're easy to use. For Android phones, try the Accupedo pedometer widget. If you have an iPhone, testers liked the Pedometer Pro GPS Plus. These both go for about $4.


Your New Years' resolution may have you weighing whether to get an exercise machine. If you're wondering whether you'd really use is, take heed. A new Consumer Reports' survey finds 59 percent of machines are regularly used a year after they were purchased.

Consumer Reports just finished testing one of the biggest sellers - elliptical machines. They imitate the motion of running without hard impact.

The $2200 Endurance E400 was the lowest rated elliptical tested. Paenlists complained that it didn't give a smooth rise.

The top-rated elliptical is the $3100 Octane Fitness Q37ci. Testers found that it's built well, and it has a nice display that's easy to read.

For far less, the Vision X30 Premier came in second. It costs $1800.