NEAT is an acronym that stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. As fancy as it sounds, it is pretty simple and can be defined as energy spent when you are not exercising, eating, or sleeping. “Thermo” means heat and “genesis” means creation – so it literally means that you are creating heat with activity that is NOT EXERCISE! Creating heat BURNS CALORIES.
Are you someone who taps their toes to music? That’s NEAT! What about the chronic fidgeters? They’re participating in NEAT, too!
Not everyone has a gym membership or is even physically able to get out and start a bike ride or a jog. If we are being honest, not everybody wants to.
If you are a very sedentary person, the thought of beginning a structured program may be intimidating or even paralyzing, so one may consider simply increasing activity on a lower (habitual) level.
Here are some ideas to get you moving and exercising – without feeling like you really are:
You can park farther away from the door, forcing a longer walk to and from the store or your office.
You could take the stairs instead of the elevator.
You can dance in your seat while sitting at red lights in your car.
You can set an alarm for every 30 minutes to get up and drink water, use the restroom, or walk a lap around the office.
You can get a pedometer or a fitbit and track your steps, and see if you can increase your number daily.
You can challenge yourself to meet different movement goals on different days of the week.
You can pace or even dance whilst cooking dinner.
You can stand up and dance or wiggle or march in place during commercials of your favorite TV shows.
You can do leg lifts or heel raises while sitting at your desk.
You can carry your groceries in a basket instead of pushing a cart.
Being intentional with our activity seems simple and would be considered baby steps, but if you make some of these activities or ideas into habitual movement, it can have an impact on how you feel and help you get moving!
Think of NEAT ways to get yourself moving and burning calories and share them here!