The 13 Activities You Do The Most
Last Updated: May 10, 2012
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Livestrong.com readers are an active bunch. Each month, they log hundreds of thousands of activities into our MyPlate Calorie Counter (a tool that tracks both the foods you eat and the calories you burn through exercise), covering everything from leisurely walking to dancing to intense activities like circuit training or running. We analyzed all of that data to see what activities MyPlate users reported doing the most. Here are there top 13.
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Whether you're just adding extra steps to your day by taking the stairs at the office or running stairs as part of your workout, walking upstairs is a great way to get your heart rate up while toning your entire lower body. Next time you're faced with the choice of elevator or stairs, take a hint from the rest of the Livestrong.com community and opt for the stairs. METs: 4 to 8
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Neither snow nor rain no heat nor gloom can get in the way of your workout when you cycle indoors. The high RPM workouts, often performed to fast-paced music, can get your heart pumping and legs burning in a hurry. Classes let you make friends and build camaraderie as you burn upwards of 500 calories per hour. METs: 5 to 10
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Bikram, Ashtanga, Iyengar -- people practice yoga for both the physical and mental benefits. If you’ve never tried yoga, it’s no joke. The sequences can challenge your strength, flexibility and patience (“Are we still holding this pose?”). Sculpted arms, a stronger core and better balance are just some of the things you can take from frequent yoga practice. Oh yeah, and hopefully some Zen. Om. METs: 3 to 5
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Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, Pilates was designed to strengthen both the mind and body. Looking for long lean muscles, flexibility and a strong core? Try hammering out 100s, which helps build all three. Scoop those abs and breathe! METs: 3 to 6
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So you're not a runner, but you're not a walker, either. Jogging is the perfect middle ground. Whether you're chugging along at a moderate, steady pace or alternating between walking and running, you're still lapping everyone on the couch. And when the weather's nice, there's not better way to explore your city (or see the sights of a new locale). METs: 6 to 12
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Want to hit your fitness goals quickly? Circuit training lets you get more done in less time by combining high-intensity aerobic activity with resistance training. The result burns fat and sculpts muscles in a fast-moving, heart-pumping workout. METs: 7 to 9
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What activity is more classic than hopping on a two-wheeler and going for a ride? It was fun when you were a kid,and remains enjoyable today. Mountain bikes, road racers, beach cruisers or even tandem cycles can get you wherever you want to go -- and help you burn off plenty of calories along the way. METs: 8 to 16
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Livestrong.com community sure are avid skiiers for this activity to make the top 10, considering it's a seasonal sport. Not only is it a great way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, but it's also a great full-body workout, as you use your legs to absorb impact, your core for stability and your arms for balance and propulsion. METs: 5 to 16
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The average person burns about 100 calories for each mile they run, making this activity one of the most effective methods out there for people who want to lose weight and keep it off. Other bonuses: Runners tend to have low blood pressure, strong lungs, fitter hearts -- and they get to experience “runners high,” an endorphin release that can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. METs: 12 to 16
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Judging by the numbers, Livestrong.com members aim to be just that: strong. Really strong. Weightlifting, the fourth most popular activity tracked on the site, can help build muscle and bone density, improving strength and helping to prevent disease. There’s evidence that pumping iron also can pump up your metabolism, as increasing your muscle mass can improve how much fat you burn. METs: 3 to 6
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Sometimes simple is best. Walking, the most basic of all exercises, is a surprisingly effective form of exercise for building cardiovascular endurance. And it does not have to be vigorous to be effective -- a casual stroll still burns more calories than being sedentary. If you can’t convince a buddy to join, bring your pooch. So lace up your shoes and get out there! METs: 2 to 4
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An exercise so standard and universal it made the top two! But they don't have to be your boring, old-fashioned sit-ups or crunches. Check out the list below and get inspired with 21 different variations of sit-ups. Just make sure you have proper form and aren't straining your neck. METs: 4 to 8
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You’ll find the elliptical machine in just about every gym, and with good reason: It provides a highly effective cardio workout that’s also low impact. The machine is extremely versatile and can help you build strength, lose fat and improve your aerobic conditioning, depending on the settings you use. And you can target different parts of your lower body by changing the incline -- ramp it up to hit your glutes and hamstrings or lower it down to target your legs and calves. It’s got something for everybody! METs: 6 to 9
Best way to use the elliptical for maximum results.
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you do any of these activities on a regular basis? Do you log them (or your food) in MyPlate? Were any of these on the list surprising to you? What are some of your other favorite ways to stay active? Send us your thoughts, questions and suggestions in the comments section below!
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