Remember your grumpy uncle telling you, "When I was your age, I had to walk fifteen miles to school in the snow! Barefoot! Uphill! Both ways!"
Now you tell your kids, “When I was your age, I had to walk to the TV to change the channels! After every program!”
40 years ago, not everyone went to the gym and obesity was not the critical problem it is today.
Researchers are now expressing concern that another key factor to the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease is a lack of N.E.A.T. N.E.A.T stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It is the energy expended by just doing stuff. We used to do more stuff. Walk, reach, jump, clean.
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t clean for my NEAT, though I have been known to ease on down the road from the kitchen to the living room.
Why am I telling you this? Because I know that you care about your health. You want to be thin and healthy and to have lots of vitality. You are always looking for small changes that can lead to success.
N.E.A.T. has been identified as a HUGE factor in your health, your lifespan and your body composition.
Our ancestors are believed to have walked between 4 to 10 miles per day, just getting things done, and burning from 1,000 to 1,500 calories per day.
Today, here’s how often we might be sitting in a day. Let’s add it up:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner – 2 hours
Commute – 1 hour
Working at a desk – 8 hours
Watching Game of Thrones and the news – 2 hours
For every hour you sit, you lose 8% of the benefit gained in an hour’s workout. Using the example above, 13 hours of sitting in one day. If you worked out hard for 2 hours and sat for 13 hours, you would lose 100% of the metabolic gains you made from working out.
At a loss of 8% for every hour you sit, you see that have an increase in N.E.A.T is very valuable.
There is good news here. N.E.A.T. is a strategy you can adopt right now. It could take away 10 lbs. this year. It could increase your metabolism, double the amount of energy you burn each day.
N.E.A.T. activities that don’t cost a penny.
Walking up the stairs.
Parking at the far side of the parking lot.
Standing up while you are on the phone.
Skipping around your living room. (Dogs and cats love this!)
Washing your car. (Partners love this!)
Typing with gusto. (Could be annoying.)
Walking to the store.
Walking the dog.
Rolling around cuddling and chasing the dog. (Dopamine hits here.)
Waving your hands around as you tell a story. (Strangers will stare.)
Waving your hands around as you stroll around the house. (Teens will roll their eyes.)
Squatting when you reach for your frying pan.
Cleaning the house to music.
Dancing in the shower. (Careful!)
Getting up and stretching every hour.
Bending to touch your toes when you get out of bed.
Reaching up like you are changing a light bulb while you are waiting for the water to boil.
I am sure you can think of 10 of your own N.E.A.T. activities you can add to your day. Can you share them with us on Facebook?
Here’s another factoid: Obese folks tend to sit 2.5 hours more per day than their sedentary lean counterparts.
Sitting is now considered an independent health risk factor for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes; sitting is being held responsible for calorie over-consumption, obesity and appetite dysregulation.
Some doctors consider N.E.A.T. more important than exercise.
Get off your butt more often. You don’t need any training, no workshop required. Give yourself a strong foundation of health with N.E.A.T. [Yes, you will still have to choose healthy food, drink plenty of water and get some sleep and exercise, but N.E.A.T. is an easy add.]
I can help. I am offering 10 people a complimentary 30-minute assessment of your current habits and will create a plan for you to make small changes that will benefit your weight loss, your health and your vitality.