DOES YOUR BUSY LIFE MAKE IT SEEM IMPOSSIBLE TO DO ENOUGH EXERCISE?
If so, then the NEAT way to exercise may be just the thing for you!
Why do we need to exercise?
Our ancestors didn’t have TVs to sit in front of, cars to drive them around, desks to sit at for hours on end, food delivered to their door, warm cosy couches to snuggle up on or centrally heated homes to keep them warm. They burned their energy hunting for their food, running from predators, keeping themselves warm and more – they were on their feet most of the day and moved constantly to survive. Our modern lifestyles are so far removed from how nature intended us to live and it’s silently killing us.
Sounds a bit dramatic – but it is fact. Research shows that exercise supports good health and will help to reduce things like stress and depression, and will reduce the risk of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and dementia. Exercise also helps to boost our energy levels, improves our thinking and clarity, boosts our motivation and self-esteem, helps with weight loss, and improves our quality of sleep and ability to succeed at life.
And guess what? It’s absolutely free and is one of THE best prescriptions for good health – not a doctor in sight and not a tablet to swallow!
OK, got that, so what actually is NEAT?
NEAT is known as “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis”. In a nutshell, it’s all related to the calories we burn through movement when we’re not eating, sleeping and exercising. So, the more NEAT we can include in our daily routine, the healthier and more energised we will feel.
How do we do NEAT?
There are many ways that NEAT can be introduced into our daily routine without it becoming yet another drain on your time. Here are a few things to consider:
- instead of sitting all day at your desk, try standing if you’re making a phone call or talking to a colleague. Why not introduce standing in meetings – it can keep you more alert and they tend to happen a lot quicker too – so, a win win there and more time for other things!
- adding more steps to your day will also help – where possible choose walking over transport; park the car further away from your office; get off the bus/train a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way; walk to the shops where you can; walk your children to and from school, or if that’s not possible due to distance, park the car a few blocks from the school and walk the rest of the way.
- if you’re office-bound during the day, get up every hour and walk around your office building for 5 minutes; walk to the toilet furthest away from your desk; go for a lunch time walk and enjoy the fresh air or browse the shops if there are some close by.
- take the stairs instead of using the lift – or if there are too many stairs, walk as far as you can and take the lift the rest of the way.
- if you work from home, you can become even more sedentary because you’re not using NEAT to travel to and from work and get up and down from your desk as much so it’s even more important to schedule in some NEAT by walking around the house, up and down the stairs, around the garden or around the block a couple of times a day.
- have a digital detox and take up gardening a couple of evenings a week. It’s a great way to unwind and improve your mood whilst getting lots of fresh air, direct sunlight and exercise. And the garden will never disagree with you, it will never answer you back and it won’t swear at you, troll you, nudge you or expect an immediate reply. You can get completely lost in your own thoughts and forget any troubles of the day – an excellent prescription for reducing stress.
- instead of ordering in a takeaway from the comfort of your couch, why not get up and make some food in your own kitchen – burn some calories and learn a great skill whilst making a healthier option.
- and as for the dreaded housework! Dread it no longer – it’s a great form of NEAT and will help to burn up those calories, keep you fit and leave you with a clean house too!
How often should we do NEAT?
Research shows that people who fidget tend to be naturally slimmer because they just never stop moving.
Moving consistently throughout the day is thought to be far more beneficial than relying on an hour’s burst of exercise after work. It has many more health benefits and will leave you feeling much more energised and motivated throughout the day to achieve and succeed at life.
It’s a really simple recipe –
reduce sitting time and increase moving time
So, are you ready to join the NEAT movement today?