Counting steps with a pedometer can lose its steam after a while.

It can become a boring way to lose weight, and not only that, but relying only on pedometer step counting for weight loss and fitness has significant limitations. One of the limitations to relying only on the approach of counting steps with a pedometer is that heart rate elevation is not the objective.

The key objective when someone uses a pedometer is to accumulate a certain number of steps every day, such as 5,000 or 10,000. Heart rate elevation isn’t considered.

Heart rate elevation, though, should be considered. You can combine pedometer step counting with movements that

1) will get counted by the pedometer, and

2) will elevate your heart rate and thus, create a cardio training effect, and

3) will add some pizzazz to the idea of using a pedometer.

Many people are loyal to their pedometer workouts: making sure that each and every day, they log a minimum number of steps on the device.

But is this all there is? Just a bunch of steps?

No. The following are ways to make counting steps with a pedometer much more appealing, and much more effective for fitness and weight loss goals.

Use common-sense with these suggestions (e.g., if you’re wearing high heels, don’t do any jumping).

#1. Trade walking up stairs for running up stairs, or climb them two at a time. Don’t just plop plop plop up the staircase. Really move. Go fast. Make it a goal to get winded once at the top.

#2. During TV commercials, skip to each room, and hop over anything that’s on the floors, such as toys, clothes, a briefcase, a small stool, etc.

#3. If you’re outdoors approaching a curb, leap to it from several feet away.

#4. If there are puddles, don’t walk around them; jump over them.

#5. Kangaroo-hop to the mailbox or to retrieve the newspaper. Or skip. You can even do some martial arts kicks along the way.

A pedometer may not pick up all of these moves into the step count, but that’s fine. It will be interesting to see which moves that the pedometer does record as steps.

#6. Shadow box while walking down the halls at work. Or pretend you’re dribbling a basketball. Practice your tennis swing while making the walks.

#7. Jump-rope across parking lots; merely walking them is just too easy. Bring a jump rope with you wherever you go. You never know when you’ll have an opportunity to use it.

#8. Wear a weighted vest around the house. These are sold via fitness gear catalogues or off the Internet.

#9. Walk backwards and sideways, push a weighted wheelbarrow, prance across a bed of rocks.

Again, a pedometer may miss some of these movements, but for the most part, a pedometer will pick up the bulk and it will show in the final tally of steps at the end of the day.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.