The NEAT Way To Get Fit.


With the days becoming shorter and colder, most will be slowing down and entering hibernation mode. Yes, we’ll need to force ourselves out the door to go to work or whatever but there is a definite hurry to get back home.

So what happens with our efforts to achieve and/or maintain our health? Nothing because our commitment to wellness trumps all conditions including rain, shine, snow or sleet. We’ve been through enough to know that the show must go on and dedication shall prevail.

A couple of years ago, I came across a simple concept for continuous calorie burning called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).  Don’t be scared, it only sounds more complicated than it actually is. I had no idea there was a name for something which I’ve been putting into religious practice my whole life.

NEAT is basically the routine, lower-intensity activities which we engage in everyday. The stuff we don’t count as formal exercise such as going to the store, cooking, fidgeting, typing and so on. This area is where most of the weight control magic happens. The reason being is that we spend the bulk of our time performing these actions. There is a potential to burn up to 1,000 (or more) calories a day just by elevating our levels of NEAT.

Apparently, as children we possess an intuitive ability to be in a natural state of NEAT(ness). Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that people who are active age better than their non-active counterparts. Unfortunately, over time we slowly become weighed down by the responsibilities of growing up which in turn dulls us.

Our primary focus should be on being NEAT because it’s all those little things that lead to lasting results. I promise that by increasing your NEAT factor you will meet your ideal weight. More importantly, when we feel good we can contribute positively to all other parts of our lives. It’s a win win.

Here are some easy ways to get NEAT(er):

  • Spend more time playing with kids and pets
  • Pace while talking on the phone
  • Walk to the store and carry a handful of groceries back home
  • Listen to music and dance while doing house chores
  • Use the stairs as much as possible
  • Park at the farthest spot
  • Vary the speed of your walking
  • Set regular alerts to remind you to get up from your desk and stretch
  • Spend a part of your lunch hour being active
  • Give up your seat and stand while commuting
  • Tap your feet
  • Stand on one foot or step side to side while waiting in line or for a bus
  • Rotate a scalp massager on your head (got one recently, SO good)
  • Get off one or two stops before your usual spot and walk rest of the way

The whole point is to develop a healthy love for any type of movement because it means you’re alive. Action allows for the cleansing of old cells and encourages the growth of new ones. It’s a remarkable process of regeneration which we can create every moment of our lives.

The only requirement is that we continue to move forward.