The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Should SLOHS Students Worry About Their Step Count?


   A quick walk with a fitness tracker can give SLOHS students a lot of information. Photo courtesy of senior Karl Karsh.

  San Luis Obispo High School students want to stay fit. 

  Who doesn’t? 

  But it’s important to do so in a healthy manner, and tracking may help.

Or not.

  School takes up a lot of time, so it can be hard for some students to find time to consistently workout or exercise. Two of the most obvious ways to be healthy without allocating a large amount of time are tracking steps while at school and logging calories throughout the day. 

  Are these really effective ways to stay healthy though or are they just too easy?

  Most students have likely seen at least one person with a smartwatch or fitness tracker. They usually come with a clock, like any other watch, but this isn’t the main selling point. They also come with pedometers for tracking steps, heart rate monitors, accelerometers, and small motion detectors for sleep.

  Fitness trackers are just one way to start a health journey. A better way is to start by allocating an hour or two every couple of days to a hard workout.

  “Anyone who can do any activity is benefiting both their physical and mental health. In health class at Cuesta, I teach the philosophy that ‘anything is better than zero.’ Having said that, there are thresholds that really make a difference. 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity are thresholds that make a solid difference,” said SLOHS athletics coach and Cuesta College health teacher Nancy Steinmaus.

  Tracking steps is a great addition or a great start to a workout routine, but they shouldn’t be the only metric. While cardio is always a great exercise, students should make sure to balance it out with strength, balance and flexibility training.

  “Step-tracking can potentially be a fitness motivator, but should be done with care, and with an overall attitude that, ‘as long as I’m getting some exercise, eating relatively healthy, and enjoying life, I’m doing alright!’ Calorie counting should never be a part of a student or student-athlete’s health regimen, as decades of data shows that it is ineffective and unhealthy,” said Athletic Director Adam Basch.

  For those counting steps it’s good to know how many to take each day. The National Library of Medicine recommends ten thousand to sixteen thousand steps each day.

  “I track my steps on longer walks but not day-to-day, it’s just nice knowing how far I’ve walked. I definitely think it’s improved my health,” said freshman Ryder LaMacchia-Meeks.

  Fitness trackers can help improve or maintain health, but it can also lead to obsessing over steps or developing unhealthy habits and disordered eating. People have to be careful and make sure they don’t feel the need to reach an absurd goal every single day. Goals are great, but it’s unhealthy to be obsessed over the numbers.

  “I will end with the caution that trackers are tools, use tools wisely. Goal setting is also a tool. Setting very realistic goals and then re-evaluating to either lower or higher ones is also a great strategy,” said Steinmaus.

  Fitness trackers are a great tool students can use. Just make sure to use that tool in a healthy way and balance it out with other exercises. 

  Let’s start taking these steps together, Tigers. 


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