Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Thursdays are for hiking with the Taiga Trekkers.  Even though I felt like a pack mule, it was easier when the kiddos were wearable.  Babies don’t mind being carried, but when they learn how their legs work children revolt.  They want to run, walk, and jump for a while.  I have changed my mindset about these hikes from mother fitness to child exploration.  We often are the caboose of the group as my son investigates rocks, fishes in mud puddles or hikes through the bushes (the wrong way).  On our last hike, it seemed like he ran miles up the trail and back (actually over 5000 steps), hopping over rocks the whole way.  I tried attaching my Garmin to his wrist, but it was too big and almost got lost so I looked for other options.
The GeoPalz device is a simple pedometer that records steps and retails for about $20.  A little clip on the back allows it to easily and securely attach to a pocket, shoe or the top of pants.  It is lightweight  and my son didn’t even notice it until another child wanted to see his “cool, skeleton dog toy”.  

Each GeoPalz comes with a code that allows you to register on their website and track steps over time.  If your child is putting on the miles, he can accumulate points towards “prizes” on the website.  This could be quite motivating for older children, but my three year old doesn’t understand delayed gratification quite yet.  I, on the other hand, was quite motivated to see how far he ran on our hikes!
There are a number of different Palz (we also have the Rock and Roll Tattoo design), which are basically a holder for the actual step counter.  There is a small cord preventing the counter from being lost.  Both of these were quite durable in the “two toddler test”.  They found they could make it click by shaking it and did this for quite a while and even found that banging it on the kitchen floor worked as well.  There were no cracks in the “skeleton dog” or problems at all.  
GeoPalz sends an email with a review of steps entered for the day, week and cumulative.  It also translates the steps into approximate mileage.  My child walked about 2 miles!  I knew he was a trooper, but that was a lot for a little kiddo.  
I can think of upgrades or design changes, but I know that the device is kept simple to keep costs low and adding features would add dollars.  I like how accessible this fitness tool is for all families encouraging outdoor activities so it should stay the way it is.  Instead of purchasing this as a scientific device, buy this for your favorite kiddo so he can see how far he treks!
I give GeoPalz my Alaskan Mom Approval for encouraging fitness, using a simple design with a low price and for letting me understand that my child can eat another cookie as he ran 5000 steps.

Visit the GeoPalz website to find out more and purchase your own, or at least one for your kiddo!

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