The Top 10 Activities Logged in the NuMi AppArticle posted in: Nutrisystem for Men
Exercise activities do more than burn calories—they’re magic for your health! Moving your body for 150 minutes per week can slash your risk of heart disease and diabetes while helping you lose weight and get healthy.1
Despite all these benefits, only one in five American adults hit the 150-minute weekly benchmark set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2
The good news? It’s only five 30-minute sessions per week.
The better news? Those 150 minutes don’t need to be all-out, sports drink-commercial efforts … just getting your body moving is a great way to hit your 2.5 hours of weekly activity.
And the best news? You already have a tool that can supercharge your success in nailing that weekly 150—your phone!
By using the free NuMi tracking app, you can not only track your Nutrisystem meals to ensure you’re staying on plan and maximizing your results, but you can also easily track your activity! Tick off the hours as you work your ticker and increase your cardiovascular and muscular health and strength.
Ready to get moving? Here are the top 10 most-logged activities in the NuMi app by Nutrisystem members just like you! Plus, we’ve provided some tips on why they’re great and how they can be even better.
No surprise here! Walking is the most popular exercise option for lots of great reasons: We all know how to do it. It doesn’t take any equipment or expensive memberships. And you don’t have to do it for very long to see a benefit—the CDC’s 150 minutes don’t need to be done all at once, or even in half-hour chunks. Just going for a walk for 10 minutes can have huge benefits for your brain and body.
One way to give your walk a fat-burning boost? Mix up your pace! In one study, scientists found that speeding up just a tiny bit here and there helped walkers burn 20 percent more calories than strolling at a constant pace. “The very act of changing speeds burns energy,” explains the researchers.3 If you’re walking while listening to music, try speeding up—just a little—at the beginning of each song, then slowing back down starting with the first chorus.
Yes, it counts! According to the Compendium of Physical Activities, a reference guide to how much physical work you do when performing different kinds of exercise, more vigorous home cleaning activities (such as vacuuming, washing the car or sweeping floors) can burn the same number of calories as a slow, leisurely bike ride or easy paddling in a canoe.4
#3: Yard Work
Making the world greener can really break a sweat: Raking, gardening and planting trees all burn plenty of calories. And walking with a lawn mower requires 5.5 times as much oxygen as sitting at rest.4 And with all that back and forth, you could be walking a mile or more without leaving your own yard!
Gardening can involve a lot of bending over. Open your chest and shoulders back up after each session with a short set of wall stick-ups. Try two or three of these after you’re out in the garden. Here’s how to do them:
- Stand facing away from a wall, with your feet about six inches away from the wall. Your head, upper back, and butt should all be in contact with the wall. They should stay in contact with it throughout the exercise.
- Put your arms straight up overhead, with the backs of your hands, elbows and forearms in contact with the wall.
- Now slide your arms down the wall by bending your elbows, keeping your hands, forearms and shoulders in contact with the wall. Keep lowering until your elbows come as close as you can bring them to your sides. (You should feel a strong contraction between your shoulder blades.)
- Pause, then slide your arms back up the wall until your arms are overhead.
#4: Stationary Bicycling
Millions of people added a stationary bike to their home during COVID-19 lockdowns—sales of one brand were up 172 percent.5 So it’s no surprise that this sit-and-spin workout has cracked the top five most-logged activities in NuMi. And it’s incredible cardio! Experienced riders can burn 10 to 15 calories per minute of riding.
Whether you’re new to the bike or have years of experience in the saddle, your post-ride routine could benefit from a figure-four stretch. Most riders are familiar with stretching their quadriceps or calves, but this bum-focused stretch can help alleviate back discomfort and keep you loose for your next ride. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie faceup on the ground like you’re going to do sit ups—feet flat on the floor, knees bent.
- Place your right foot on your left thigh just above your knee.
- Grab the back of your left thigh with your hands, and gently pull your left thigh (and with it, your crossed-over right lower leg) towards your chest.
- Give yourself a gentle hug here, and hold for 10 seconds.
- Switch your legs, and pull the other thigh.
#5: Weight Training
If cardio exercise is a fast track to health, strength training gives your ride a turbo charge: The American Heart Association recommends strength because it lowers your heart disease risk, improves heart function and improves your mental well-being.6 It can also give your brain a boost and help give it better breaks—strength work improves your sleep!7
And once you’ve hit your weight loss goal, weight training can help keep you from gaining weight back: In one study, men who did 20 minutes of weight training per day had less “age-related” belly fat gain than those who did cardio alone.8
You don’t have to lift mega-heavy to get these benefits, either: Starting with lighter weights and longer sets of each exercise can give you similar strength and muscle size gains as using big, heavy weights.
You can break a sweat while you meal prep—the only trouble is, if you’re losing weight with the simplicity of Nutrisystem, most of the prep is taken care of!
But if getting on your feet in the kitchen is your preferred way to move, it’s a great time to get chopping on some non-starchy vegetables—for snacks, sides and even Flex meals. Eating non-starchy vegetables can help fill you up while filling your daily diet with vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
Check out this list of seven non-starchy veggies that you can eat in unlimited fashion—with suggestions for how to try each. Then move it to the kitchen … and get some movement in there!
You don’t need a single weight to get all the heart-strengthening, sleep-improving benefits of strength training: Bodyweight calisthenics moves can give you all the same benefits, and all you need is your body! Check out this simple guide to add a muscle-strengthening, three-move calisthenics routine to your walk with just a park bench as equipment—and give your cardio time a strength boost.
Before your next calisthenics session, try doing 10 repetitions of each of these five moves to warm up your body through simple exercises that amp up your heart rate while getting your joints moving:
- Exercise 1: Jumping jacks
- Exercise 2: Knee hugs: Walk forward, bringing your knee up towards your chest with each step. Grab your shin below your knee and pull it up a little bit, creating a stretch in your butt and hamstring.
- Exercise 3: Chair squats: Stand in front of a chair and slowly sit down into it without using your hands. Then, without using your hands, stand back up. As you stand and sit, try to keep your weight in your heels, not in your toes.
- Exercise 4: Side shuffle: Without crossing your feet, shuffle to the right for five seconds, then left for five more.
- Exercise 5: Hip swings: Holding a chair, table or railing at your right side, swing your right leg forward and back for five seconds like a pendulum. Switch sides and repeat for five seconds on the left side.
Talk about making exercise fun! Getting your steps in while you shop is as popular as ever: According to a report by the CDC, malls are the second-most popular place to take a walk, after your own neighborhood.9 A loop around the inside of many malls can be a half-mile or more.
Up the ante—and the calorie burn—on your shopping experience: Try parking slightly farther away from the store’s front door to add a few bonus steps. If it’s a mall, try parking at a different entrance than you’re used to—you might have to walk some extra steps to get to and from your favorite stores. And if your shopping trip is just for groceries, give yourself one more bonus—walk the cart back to the front of the store instead of just dropping it at the nearest cart corral.
If you’ve got a big family, doing laundry can be an exhausting job—lugging around big baskets, and folding endlessly. And making all those dirty clothes into pristine piles is light exercise: Doing laundry is the “metabolic equivalent,” or workout equivalent, of doubling your oxygen uptake versus sitting still. This is on par with light cooking or other “general standing” activities.4
If you’d like to give laundry time a calorie-burning boost, try adding in some marching: Before and after each laundry-related activity, do 20 to 30 seconds of high-knee marching, walking in place while bringing your knees high. Just threw another load in the washer? March for 20 seconds. Waiting for the dryer to buzz? Twenty more. Just finished folding? March 30 seconds before carrying the basket upstairs.
Those 20- and 30-second bouts will add up! In no time, you’ll have combined something you have to do—making your clothes clean—with something you want to do—getting more exercise for your health.
It’s a classic exercise modality for a reason: It works! Riding a bike with a medium effort burns a similar amount of calories to doing a circuit training class.4 And for many people, pedaling is a much more enjoyable pastime.
Because once you learn how to ride, you never forget—and it’s a perfect example of what makes something a great exercise choice: Something you know how to do and enjoy enough to do consistently.
No matter which of the 10 activities on this list you choose, performing it week in and week out is the real key to getting the calorie-burning, cardio health-boosting benefits you’re after. So choose the activity (or activities) you’ll love to do often, and start tracking them with the NuMi app today! >
*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.