You already know that walking is great for physical fitness. But did you know that by working a part-time job that keeps you on your feet and moving, you can actually improve your fiscal fitness, as well? According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood and memory
- Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. Well, here are five income opportunities that allow you to earn thousands while you get those thousands of daily steps in. You can thank the development of new mobile apps and the sharing economy for these emerging enterprises, which didn’t exist until a few years (or, in one case, several months) ago!
1. Create a walking tour for Airbnb. Yes, you already know you can rent your empty nest to paying guests. But an Airbnb service called “Experiences,” launched at the end of 2016, requires no spare bedroom because it caters to hotel travelers and locals looking for excursions with amazing guides. Think local chefs teaching how to make pasta or a conservationist leading a hike through a wildlife preserve. Cash in on your passion, and set your own price. The top earners among the 3,000-plus Experience hosts, working full time, pull in up to $200,000 a year. To qualify, review the quality standards, then create a unique adventure, which will be vetted by the company to ensure five-star fun for travelers.
2. Become a dog-walker for Rover. If you’re not a dog (or cat) person, then you’re barking up the wrong tree here. Billing itself as the nation’s largest network of pet walkers and sitters, Rover also allows you to set your own rates. Dog boarding, house sitting, drop-in visits and doggy daycare are other ways to earn money with the app. You’ll create a profile (which the company will review), connect with local pet owners and collect automatic payments all on a secure platform. The company, launched in 2011, says you could earn $1,000 or more per month. The best part: With 140,000-plus sitters in over 10,000 cities globally, there’s an opportunity where you live.
3. Sign on as a cellphone field scout for WeGoLook. Let’s say a business headquartered outside of your area needs someone to photograph a commercial property. Or a buyer in another state wants photographic proof that the 1970s Harley Davidson offered for sale on eBay really is in excellent condition. This on-demand field service, the Uber of authentification, pays you to go be their clients’ “eyes.” The company has been around since 2009 but has only recently become a top player in the on-demand universe since partnering with ebaymotors, redesigning their mobile app and scaling a workforce of 20,000 lookers in 2016 (they now employ 30,000). If you need to measure a truck’s bumper or perform a scene inspection, the app will provide you with instructions. Payments typically range from $15 to $30 per order. But depending on the level of complexity and time spent on site, Look fees can go as high as $200. Generally, lookers earning the higher wages have specialized skills, such as piloting a drone, auto mechanics, insurance adjustment or being a notary. A bonus for military vets: Because you’ve served, you get first dibs on assignments.
4. Grab and deliver groceries as a shopper with Shipt. Get your cardio in the produce aisle with a bit of resistance work as you lift grocery sacks (being able to lift at least 25 pounds is a requirement of the job.) The startup, which launced in 2014, employs shoppers in over 72 U.S. cities and pays up to $25 per hour.
5. Drop off packages, restaurant meals or groceries using the Amazon Flex app. Basically an Uber for parcels, launched in late 2015, it’s how packages with that signature smile logo land on your neighbors’ doorsteps. Granted, as a delivery partner, most of your walking will be from the curb to someone’s front door. Or you’ll hoof it from the warehouse or from a local business to your car. But you can make $18 to $25 an hour in base pay. In addition, customers generally tip for certain types of deliveries. You can choose your schedule and delivery zones. There is no minimum number of deliveries required to qualify.
To get in on these gigs, you’ll need to own a cellphone that meets the particular app’s specifications. In some cases, you’ll need to submit personal data for a background check. Delivery services require a car. But with 1 of every 4 Americans earning money on digital platforms these days, pounding the pavement has never been more profitable! Whether or not a walking job is right for you, stride your way to saving money by signing up for AARP Rewards for Good. Connect your Fitbit to your free Rewards Account and automatically earn points when you hit walking or other fitness milestones. Your Reward points can be redeemed toward daily deals, local offers, auctions, and savings on gift cards and merchandise.