If you are trying to lose weight, exercising regularly and eating right are only a part of the solution. You also need to be conscious of NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). According to Dr. James Levine, NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. This includes activities like walking to work, housework, gardening, vacuuming, taking the stairs and fidgeting.
Sedentary lifestyle is a huge contributor to the growing obesity problem and increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Every small move counts. Increasing NEAT activities throughout the day can improve overall health, reduce body fat percentage and enhance body performance.
Here are a few ways to sit less and move more to burn extra NEAT calories.
- If you have a desk job, walk and talk on the phone. Take frequent breaks from the desk and walk to get a glass of water.
- Take the stairs. Try not to use the elevator or the escalator all the time. If you do use the escalator or the travelator, don’t just stand, walk along.
- Walk to your destination if it is a short one instead of taking the car.
- Replace your chair with a swiss ball. If you have to sit, the swiss ball gives you the option of bouncing at intervals, burning calories while sitting!
- Offer to do the errands instead of delegating them to other members of the family. Carry grocery bags, take out the trash or walk the dog.
- Take an after dinner stroll. This can be a good bonding time with your spouse instead of flopping on the couch and watching TV.
- If you are at a social gathering, mingle with people, walk to them, stand and have a conversation. Avoid sitting and chatting.
All activities are important. If you don’t have a naturally active lifestyle, plan at least two activities per day other than your workout. Up your NEAT to prevent weight gain and get a leaner body.
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