Step It Up: Here Are Some Free Ways to Fit More Walking Into Your Day

Motivation to stay active every day comes in many forms.

Some people want to reach specific fitness goals. Others want to set a good example for their kids.

And lots of people are motivated by cash — because who doesn’t love getting paid for something you already do?  

Nagging usually motivates me, especially when it’s combined with a splash of guilt and delivered through the judgmental fitness tracker I wear on my wrist.

It’s constantly reminding me to stand up, breathe, walk around and all sorts of other bossy stuff. And because I welcome our robot overlords, I do what my tracker tells me (usually).

Prevailing wisdom says people should try to walk 10,000 steps per day, but research suggests that may be an arbitrary number based on public health guidelines from Japan in the 1960s.

Step count aside, you want to make sure you’re getting enough physical activity to stay fit and healthy.

The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

No matter how many steps a day you accumulate, walking is recognized by doctors as a great way to lower your risk of developing health problems like heart disease and depression.

One way to get your target number of steps each day is to build walking into your daily routine.

For instance, Cleveland Clinic recommends taking the stairs instead of an elevator and parking in the space farthest from the door in parking lots.

You can also give these free or low-cost ideas a try to get in extra steps each day:

And if you really want to go all in on your commitment to walk a bunch every day, become a postal worker.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go walk around the block a few times. My fitness tracker told me so.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’d love to have a walk-and-talk with Aaron Sorkin.