Maybe you're counting your steps? After all, the ACSM has suggested that you get a minimum of 10,000 steps a day for health and fitness.
- Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a "sedentary lifestyle index"
- 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered "low active."
- 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered "somewhat active."
- 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as "active".
- Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as "highly active".
Maybe, you're counting stairs or floors climbed? Perhaps you have set a goal to climb to the top a tall building like the John Hancock Tower in Chicago, which annually holds a Hustle Up the Hancock race/walk to the 94th floor. That's 1,632 steps (corrected - stairs!). Stairs are a great way to strengthen the muscle of the lower body and get a more intense cardiovascular workout. It's just harder than regular walking!
Maybe you're counting miles or distance? My own mother set a goal to walk 500 miles in one year. With a goal like that, I highly recommend creating some smaller goals such as walking 40 miles/month or 10 miles/week to help keep you on track and get you to your big goal in one year. I also know a lot of people that like to walk a set distance, for example, 3 miles/day for fitness. Walking is a perfect weight bearing exercise for many people and doesn't cost any money. Walking burns approximately 100 kcal per mile for a 150 pound person. Assuming you weight 150 pounds, you would need to walk 35 miles to burn 3500 calories and lose one pound.
Maybe your counting calories? And, why not? Calories are a measure of energy expended (simplified version, actually). In diet and exercise we talk in terms of kcal. A pound of fat stores 3500 calories (kcal) of energy. To lose a pound, you need to expend 3500 calories. For instance, if you expend (burn) 500 calories a day in your workout 7 days a week, you will lose one pound (in that week) - all other things remaining the same. (I also know some people that work out to burn off a certain item of food that they ate (or plan to eat) like a cookie or piece of pie!) I guess for some, that's motivation, too!
Now, get yourself a gadget like a heart rate monitor that tracks calories, a pedometer that tracks steps, or use any machine at a club and transfer the information in the summary to your online tracking software and you're on your way to reaching your goal - whatever it may be!