Gear · hiking · Hiking Gear

The S Health App and 10000 Steps A Day

10000 Steps A Day.

That translates to 4 to 5 miles or so, depending on your step gait. It’s interesting to see how much, or little, you walk daily. Last May I moved to a Samsung phone and started playing with the S Health App when I was at DisneyWorld. But…summer heat came and I found myself peetering on many days. It was embarrassing to see how few steps I could end up taking…like 3,000 a day. Ugh.

But Fall came and so did the cooler weather, and I started making – and setting goals. Using a step counter is addictive, satisfying to see the numbers run up. As long as you have an Android based phone, most of them can run the app. It doesn’t have ads, it isn’t a hog on battery life, you don’t even need cell or wi-fi service to use it. But you must have your phone on you, where it can register your movements. If you are using a larger phone like a Note, your best place is a large pocket on your butt or side of your thigh. Now then, in busy areas I keep it in my front pocket so I don’t get picked of my ample phone!

Most days I end up around here:


Or somewhere in the middle, although yesterday was nearly 14K:


My minimum goal is 10,000 steps. As long as I make it, great, then I can go to bed 😉 The secondary goal was making said goal every day, not 3-4 times a week.

But then somedays….oh those days….when your feet feel great and you have your mental game in place, and you set a new personal record on it. Because making 3 days of steps in one day is pretty damn good feeling.


There is a disclaimer to the app’s greatness that I have found. When I walk my normal gait, especially with the two youngest kids, I log more miles with my steps. If though I walk or hike with Kirk or Ford, I log fewer miles, as I am “forced” to walk a wider stance. Especially with my oldest son…at 18 years old he has a 34″ inseam on his pants. “Legs” moves fast!

Still, it gives me a general idea of the distance I have covered. And overall it is close. And as the months have passed, I’ve noticed my pace is faster, and I do the steps with less miles. Again, I am OK with that. It means I move faster now.

And no lies: It eats a lot of time up. You will walk for 1 to 2 hours a day. On average, I take 2 to 3 walks a day to make my numbers. I try to get out in the morning and make at least half of it, because once you are on the downhill slope, getting there is so much easier….than if you wait till like 8 pm!

Weekdays I often get slower miles in, because I will do a lot with the younger boys, and well, they still have short legs. Weekends, I get my numbers often with Ford, and I have to pace up to keep up with him (oh back when he was little, and it was me leading!). My big number days are almost always on weekends, especially if I can hand off the kids to Kirk and go.

It’s encouraged me to drive quite a bit less. Because in the back of my mind I am thinking “If I walk to the store to shop, I can add-on 3,000 to 5,000 steps”. Not a bad deal. I plan my grocery trips for when I have at least one of the younger boys, and take the jogger stroller so I can carry back groceries. We live in the middle of town and have easy walking to stores, restaurants and more now. It is a huge reason we picked our house. We also back up to a rail to trail that runs through the town. I literally can walk out my back door and gate and be on the trail. Some weeks now I am only driving one day a week. I like that. I like that the hills here no longer wind me, that I don’t need stops to catch my breathe, that walking 5 miles a day is my new normal. I’m still relatively slow and sloth like, but I am at least being better…..


Beyond being a step counter, it also tracks walks, hikes, bicycling and more. It tracks hikes, walks, and bike trips via GPS, but you don’t need cell beyond having a GPS lock. I’ve used it in the mountains easily. And more so, paired it along side with a standard GPS unit and it is nearly the same. Bye heavy GPS unit in most cases….

You can add photos and share as well, be it Facebook or Instagram. Because you know, what good is it if you don’t brag, right? 😉


Another thing it can do is track sports, which there are many choices. A number are things like a treadmill, or in my case, an elliptical machine. You can have an open-ended workout, a set time and so on. It records how long you work out and helps you achieve goals.

The app has a number of other features such as food, water, sleep and more…which I am too lazy to put any effort into…..

If you do decide to try it out, be sure to go through the setup of your info, so it is more accurate. As well, you can pick up a step counter that you can put on your front page of your phone in the widgets section, so it makes it easy to use. Spend an hour looking through the app, somethings are hidden and not well spelled out, but overall it is easy enough to use.

But most of all….put your phone in a pocket and go!

PS: The next goal? 40,000 steps. When? Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next month. Because I never know when it will hit my mind to go……