What is NEAT?
It means Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It is the energy expended during normal activity rather than through an exercise program. You burn calories when you chop vegetables, stand rather than sit, wriggle your toes, which are some examples of NEAT activities.
Many people complain of slow metabolism for their inability to lose or maintain weight. It isn’t the issue of metabolism, rather it is the lack of movement that is causing the problem.Studies has found that NEAT activities can account for as little as 15% of energy expenditure in sedentary people whereas it is up to 50% in very active individuals.
So let’s find out how we can incorporate NEAT into our hectic life style.
Find an excuse to move and you will find many!
Move for every small reason. If you have a desk job or sit idle at home, make it a habit to get up after every few minutes. Get up every hour to visit the washroom, refill water, talk to a co-worker, do some stretch exercise to decrease stiffness, will help you burn calories and improve your energy. A study published in one of the leading journals stated that people who stand for at least three hours a day lived around three years longer than their sedentary peers.
Take the Stairs
Climbing the stairs is a great activity to burn extra calories and strengthen your leg muscles. If you find it difficult to climb stairs, use the elevator to go up, but run down the stairs when coming back. If you have to go to the 4th floor, climb 1 or 2 floors and take the elevator to your destination.
Increase your Steps
Walk whenever you can. If the supermarket is at a walking distance, walk to it the next time you have to pick up anything and if the parcel is not too heavy carry it back home. Get down at an earlier stop and walk up to your office or when coming back home. Try taking a public transport as you will have to walk up to the bus/train station and even climb stairs.
Buy a Pedometer
This gadget will help you to keep moving by telling you how many steps you have completed. Set a target and try to achieve it. Keep motivating yourself to surpass the targets you have achieved. Wear it all the time at work, home and when exercising.
Fidget as much as possible
Fidget like a cat on hot bricks or wriggle like a worm, but don’t sit still. When sitting, wriggle your feet from time to time, do bicep curls with the bottle of water. Pace up and down when talking over the phone or stretch after finishing a small task. When you are waiting in a line rock on your heel, or step from side to side. If you are sitting in a bus or train, give your seat to someone.
I am sure you will take the cue from the examples given here and find many more and better ways of doing NEAT in your daily life.