NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which basically means the calories you burn doing daily activities outside of the gym. It is important to increase your NEAT, especially if fat loss is your goal, as your daily calorie expenditure will also increase, therefore putting you in a higher caloric deficit in the long run. Not only is NEAT a great way for adding up the extra calories burnt but it will encourage you to become less sedentary throughout the day and actually increase your energy and stamina in the long run. Furthermore, it has been said that a sedentary lifestyle can be linked to various diseases and chronic conditions.
So how can you increase your NEAT?
It is astonishing the amount of people that would take the car to a shop or for the school run that is easily walking distance. Plus carrying a few bags will increase your NEAT even more as it will be adding a little extra resistance. This can also be the case for people driving to work. Ok, so for some it may be a little too far to walk, so take the bike instead. This way, you will probably feel more awake and refreshed for the day.
Take the stairs
Think about a shopping trip and how long you spend walking around, this alone will increase your NEAT but you can extend it even more so if you took the stairs or walked up the escalator during your spree. You might think, “…a 20 second walk up the stairs won’t burn a lot” but if you are constantly choosing this method throughout your shopping trip, during the day and week to navigate around other buildings then believe me, it will add up.
Don’t sit still
Sitting still for long periods of time isn’t good for circulation as it is, and it certainly won’t increase your NEAT. Fidgeting actually contributes to NEAT, but make the effort of getting out of your seat every so often, especially if you have an office based job. Only filling your water bottle half way so that you have to keep getting up to refill it is a good idea as well as offering to make a colleague a drink. You could even inquire about having a standing desk as these are becoming more popular today and will increase your NEAT more than sitting.
Do it yourself. Anything from gardening, cleaning, cooking, decorating and washing your own car will greatly contribute to your NEAT. Sometimes these activities can get over looked when it comes to calorie burn but they do contribute, so consider scheduling in these chores to increase your NEAT.
Add in some morning/evening stretching
As soon as you wake, before you hit the sack or even whilst watching TV, add in some daily stretching. Keeping supple has its benefits alone (such as reducing joint stiffness and soreness) but choosing a stretching routine that gets you in and out of the floor will help to increase your NEAT. Can’t think of what stretches to do? Check out videos online, such as YouTube, where there will be lots of full body stretching routines to copy from.
That’s right…have sex. This intimate act has many health benefits, which I will be doing a blog on in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. Obviously this is a physical activity, and like walking, cleaning and gardening it will burn calories and elevate your heart rate, therefore increase your NEAT.
So get up and get moving in between your gym sessions to make the most of your fat loss potential by increasing your NEAT. If you still need support or the motivation to kick start your fat loss and fitness journey then feel free to contact us at Griffin Fit to see how we can help.