5 Ways To Move And Close Your Apple Activity Rings

5 Ways To Move And Close Your Apple Activity Rings

We all know we need to move more. So why are we still struggling?   

I wear an Apple Watch and an Oura Ring. Between the two of them, they remind me to move. The Oura ring has an activity goal of me burning 300 calories a day. It “talks” to my Apple Watch when I do an activity. Closing my rings and meeting my Oura activity goals gives me a little shiver of delight! And, it keeps me accountable. 

Apple Rings

The Apple Activity app has 3 rings. Movement (red), Exercise (green) and standing (blue). When I received my Apple watch I noticed immediately that it did not track steps. I guess that’s because it recognises that people can “move” in different ways and this all contributes to burning calories. Thus, we don’t have to stress about walking around our bedroom before we hit the sack to hit 10,000 steps (anyone else done that??). 

Closing the Apple Rings helps me stay on track. When I don’t, it shows. 

My 4 Year Fitness History

Regardless if you’re tracking your exercise, or steps, or daily activities, they all burn calories. And, if your goal is to lose weight, you want to achieve a calorie deficit (of course there are other factors like type of exercise and quality of food eaten but I want to keep things simple). 

I tracked the history of me closing my rings and how many calories I burned from my Apple Watch for 4 years, from January 2018 to December 2021. Because I was curious. My weight had gained significantly after my wrist surgery in August. I wanted to find out more. 

Monthly Calories

I took the total calories burned and tracked it on a chart. This is a crude chart and the weight is definitely not to scale, but I was tracking three things :

  1. Monthly Calories burned 

  2. My weight (not throughout)

  3. Events that occurred. 

    1. When I was doing an exercise programme

    2. Christmas - to signify the “holiday” mindset and taking a break from exercising

    3. When Covid hit, and we were in lockdown

    4. When I had my wrist surgery end of August 2021, and took a few months off working out. 

Can you see a trend? My weight increased from 57 kg right up to 65 kg over just 3+ years.  Let's look at the details.

The Trend

  1. When I hit my lowest weight (post cancer) of 57kg, I had just completed a 12 month training programme that included habit changing.

  2. After that programme, my calories burned dropped significantly when I went on a summer holiday (from 4200 calories  in June to 2700 calories in July). 

  3. From July 2019, I began another 12 month strength training programme. You can see calories burned was higher, but my weight increased. I was likely not minding my portions and sneaking in some crisps (my husband is a crisp addict). 

  4. When Covid lockdown hit in April 2020, my calories burned was still pretty high (averaging 3115 calories in April, May and June). 

  5. Then, in July 2020, it dropped to 2413. This coincided with my 12 month programme ending. I was at a loss, not sure what to do next. And giving myself a "break". 

  6. Then I picked myself up in August and started a 12 week Amazing 12 Body Transformation Programme. See the crazy peak in the calories burned?? I hit a maximum burn of 7595 calories burned in September 2020! My weight was 60kg, but I was a lot trimmer. I had burned fat, and gained muscle. So although my weight was 60kg, I didn’t look it. 

  7. Then, after the 12 weeks ended around November, I took another “break”. I was waiting for the next programme to start - although I didn't have a plan. I didn’t know what programme to join. So I just hung about and waited. And waited. And ... waited.

  8. 2021 was a crap year for me, as I lost focus and didn’t really have a programme to stick to. I had tennis elbow and I used that as an excuse not to workout (my legs however, were fine!). I got stuck in the pool of “it will get better… I’ll just wait”. But see what happened? I gained… and gained…. And gained until reaching a maximum of 65 kg. 

  9. I had wrist surgery at the end of August, and did nothing in September (Calories burned was 419 in Sep). 


I’m an imperfect human - just like you. This analysis has shown me that I NEED a programme. Otherwise I flounder. And, I used my wrist as a reason not to even do simple walking. And, I also took some time out over Christmas (although I’m not beating myself up over this too much because breaks can be very beneficial - as long as you have a plan for after the break). 

But, the fact is - when I move and exercise less, my weight GAINS. That’s what the data has shown me. 

So how can we move more and close that darned Apple Ring? Because, we need to move and exercise to burn calories. 

5 Ways To Close The Rings

#1 Sign up for a programme

Commit to a long term programme. Not just a 4 week programme, but 6 or 12 months. Because then you don’t have to figure out “what’s next”. And you can plan your life around it. And with a programme, there is no pause. Sure you can take a few workouts off. But with a programme, your Coach will keep you on track to move… move … move.  

#2 Injured? Modify your movements

Okay, so if you’re bed ridden and have broken both arms and legs - no, you can’t move. But look at me - I had surgery on my right wrist. My left arm and both legs and body were perfectly fine. I could have walked. I could have done Squats. I could have Danced in the living room. But I didn’t. 

I used my wrist as an excuse. 

And that break made it SO much harder to start again. And the weight I gained has stuck. It’s so hard to get rid of it now. 

So if you have an injury, figure out how to modify a workout. Better yet - tell your Coach that you still want to work out and they will do the magic of programming a great workout for you. 

#3 Set up a timer to do some moves

I use an app on my computer called Simon Says. Every hour, Simon pops up on my screen to tell me to do “8 squats” or “8 Push ups”. And when I have zoom calls, if he pops up when I’m screen sharing, everyone does it too! 

I’ve also added a 5 minute walk on my walking pad. I’ll get back to that in a second. But I just walk for 5 minutes when Simon pops up.

You could also just set a timer yourself for 2 minutes and dance; climb those stairs in your home, or just walk around; or do jumping jacks; or twerk! 

#4 Invest in a treadmill, bike or walking pad

I live in Singapore where it’s HOT all year round. Since having 9 surgeries on my chest, my fingers swell up like sausages when I walk outside. 

I was using that as an excuse not to walk. So, I bought a walking pad. These are like a treadmill but without the frame, and only goes up to 6km per hour. 

Initially I wanted to use it with a stand up desk, but as I haven’t bought that desk yet, I use my walking pad in two ways. 

As I said in #3, I walk for 5 minutes when Simon Says pops up on my computer. 

And, I put on Netflix on my computer and watch a show for 20 minutes while I walk (I went through Schitt’s Creek while walking on my pad). This combines what I "want" to do, with something I "need" to do.

#5 Dance Little Sister, Dance!

For Christmas I asked for a little Wonderboom water proof speaker. I love listening to music, and now that my clubbing days are over, I need an outlet to bust some dance moves. 

Yes - I dance in the shower, or when I’m just getting ready. No one is watching me, so I can be as crazy as I like.

I’ve also (sadly!) pretended I was an aerobics coach and taken my “class” through a Retro Jane Fonda inspired workout - while getting my facial routine in. Very handy when you have to wait 15 minutes before you can wash your mask off.  And yes - I did the "grapevine" as part of my bogus exercise class.

What works for you - do it

These 5 tips are what work for me. They may not be your choice. But they do cover the basic premises of :

  1. Accountability (commit to a programme)

  2. You don’t have to do a full body workout (lower or upper body, if you have injuries)

  3. Short but regular movements (every hour, just a couple of minutes)

  4. Combine what you enjoy with a movement (Netflix and walking)

  5. Use some ‘dead time’ to get some movement in (dance while waiting for my mask to set)

The point is, as you can see from my chart, when I moved less, my weight gained. It wasn’t my hormones… it wasn’t the type of food I was eating. Although, these definitely could be factors.

But the simple truth was - I just wasn’t moving enough. 

I hope these help give you some ideas of how to close your Apple Rings and to make you move more, every single day. 

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And we can’t wait to help thousands more women over the years. 

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