What is NEAT? | Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis: What it is & How it Can Impact Your Fitness
Does your activity tracker notify you every once in awhile with a message that says "MOVE!"
It may seem unnecessary and some people opt to turn this setting off - but there is a reason these activity trackers are programmed to send you this alert: to increase NEAT.
But wait... what even is NEAT?
NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is the energy we burn doing everything except sleeping, converting food in to energy, or intentional exercise like your scheduled workout class. So, basically just living life. Standing, walking on the beach, cleaning your room, etc. are all forms of NEAT that can add up to help maximize the amount of calories you burn in a day without having to set aside more time for the gym.
The reality is: your fitness progress may be stalled because you are not moving outside of the gym. You go in for your morning workout, you burn 400 calories, and then you go to your sedentary desk job or you head back home and sit on the couch all day. Sound familiar? You can easily burn MORE calories throughout the day and keep your metabolism high by increasing your NEAT.
Simply MOVING the tiniest muscle in your body requires energy. Calories, the unit we use to measure energy, are burned every time you move your body. So, that means getting up off the couch, doing the dishes, running to catch your phone that's ringing before you miss a call - all require energy and all burn calories.
If you work a sedentary job or find yourself in class for hours on end, make an appointment to get up and move with intention. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity (there's a reason they say sitting is the new smoking). These small sessions of movement and activity will add up and can actually help you reach your fitness goals.
Here's how: one pound of body fat = approximately 3,500 calories. Increasing your NEAT by 200-300 calories (logging more steps throughout the day) and decreasing your total calorie intake by 200-300 calories (cutting out your dessert or eating your salad without dressing) every day for seven days would result in about one pound lost per week. Simple lifestyle changes can work together to help you not only feel even healthier and more energized, but to actually see physical results. Never underestimate the power of persistence.
Head over to my latest Instagram post @samanthabowers_ or comment below with one way you try to increase your NEAT throughout the day. Do you get up and walk your dogs twice a day? Do you make an effort to engage your core muscles while you vacuum the house? I want to hear from you!
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