So what’s NEAT?
N.E.A.T. stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.
It can be anything from the energy expended walking to work or the local shop, gardening, getting up out of your chair and even fidgeting. You may not feel it but even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual's daily NEAT.
If your goal is weight loss, the small things you do each day that aren’t exercise can make a huge impact on your goal.
Here are 5 ways to increase your NEAT:
1. Use the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator when you can.
I take the metro most days to clients and it’s amazing how few people take the stairs up or down to the platform. If you’re wondering -yes, I always take the stairs, unless it’s been a super long day and I’ve way surpassed my step count.
To be honest, I think we are just so used to taking the easy option when it’s in front of us that many people don’t even think twice about the other, more active option.
It was funny the other day when the escalator was out of service. About 80% of people looked and then headed straight for the elevator when the stairs were right next to them.
2. Don’t sit for more than an hour at a time.
Set your alarm for 1 hour intervals if you have a desk-based job and move as often as you can – even if it’s just a lap around the office or a trip to the toilet.
3. Walk when and where you can.
Walk to work, to the shop, to your kids school if it’s within walking distance.
To put it bluntly, we are becoming lazier and lazier and most of us will choose the quick and easy option when it comes to travel. Get out in the air and get your steps in when you can. The modern day lifestyle is all about convenience so we need to break the habit and get moving more like we used to.
4. Stand at your desk.
If you have the option to stand at your desk, do it. Maybe not all day but when you can. Resting heart rate is higher while standing than sitting, thus increasing caloric output.
5. Walk your dog.
This may seem like an obvious one but walking your pet helps to get those steps in and is usually a great time to bond with your furry friend. If you don't have a dog, grab your partner or your earphones and go out for a stroll. For those of you with a furbaby, set a time each day for a walk - even if it's just 15 minutes. Your body with thank you and your doggy will love you even more than they do already.
Have a think about all the opportunities you have in front of you to increase your N.E.A.T. and get burning some extra calories on those days you can't make it to the gym.
Until next time...
x Jen x