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N.E.A.T.

January 05 2015

N.E.A.T. - Increase Your Metabolism

N.E.A.T. Stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and is really a fancy way of saying, "the calories you burn while you are NOT exercising". It includes everything from sleeping, eating, sitting, standing and encompasses every calorie burned, during every minute of your 24 day, except for when you are purposely exercising.

Increase your N.E.A.T. score and you'll burn enough calories in a day to rival to a moderate gym workout.

So how is this done? You increase your N.E.A.T. by incorporating more movement into your day. Studies show that most of us spend the majority of our day seated (not that we needed a study to tell us that). We work and study at desks and cubicles and then come home and watch TV or check emails etc. All that sitting burns up very little energy and is bad for our health to boot. Sugars don't get metabolized quickly enough and fats stay in our bloodstream longer, giving them more of a chance to deposit around our organs or along our artery walls.

When we move, our muscles act like a pump and help to circulate our blood and lymph fluids in our body, utilizing that circulating fat and sugar I spoke of above, killing 2 birds with one stone - cleaning our blood AND burning calories.

The How:

As I mentioned above you need to incorportate movement (or more movement) into your day. You can start first thing in the morning by parking a few blocks away from work, and then walking the rest of the way at a brisk pace. Five minutes is good enough . Next, take the stairs instead of the elevator - actually, take the stairs all the time from now on. If you have to go up too many floors then get off a few before yours, and take the stairs from there.

Once at your desk, try to stand as much as you can and even pace back and forth if possible while talking on the phone or with other employees. Every hour, get up and walk for a few minutes briskly, or go up and down a couple of floors of stairs. No stairs? Try a few squat bends, wall push-ups etc. I think you get the picture by now. The aim is to continue to get done what you would normally get done in your day, with a few modifications to your routine.

What can you Expect?

Studies have shown that if you are a sedentary person (which amounts to about 80% of us) and that you add in some movement in your day as described above, that you can expect an increase of about 400 extra calories burned every single day! That's close to a pound a week without dieting or going to the gym. For those who are already active and who do physical work or walk a lot (like a waitrsess), there isn't much benefit to be had by increasing your N.E.A.T.

As for weight loss with N.E.A.T., you likely will lose 'some' body fat but slowly, and over time, IF all else remains equal. But, if you were to tighten your diet while increasing your NEAT then you can expect a lot more without ever having to go to the gym, or without breaking a sweat.

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*** I wanted to mention too, that standing is better than sitting, but will only increase your NEAT by 10%.

Also, the health benefits of moving more are not to be taken lightly. 25 years of sitting vs 25 years of moving will have a huge impact on your longevity and your quality of life all without, exercising or dieting.

- Peter