Have you heard about this concept of N.E.A.T.? Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - basically how your body uses energy during any activity that isn’t a workout, eating or sleeping. Of course, we burn energy during workouts, our body uses energy when processing our food during and after meals, and even when we're sleeping, mostly coming from our brain burning glucose. But this concept of NEAT, how you can expend energy in all the in-between. I find this so fascinating because I can spend the whole day inside my house cleaning, walking up and down the stairs at least 100x and by the end of the day, I've taken over 10k steps, my muscles hurt and am exhausted. But because I didn't do a formal workout, I don't feel like I should be as tired as I feel.
Do you ever break a sweat vacuuming your house? That’s NEAT. What about raking leaves, planting flowers, mowing the lawn - with a push mower of course? That's NEAT. Carrying your kids around piggyback and you're breathing heavy? That’s all NEAT. So even after a long day of chores or cleaning the house, you can be completely spent. That’s NEAT. My exhaustion is completely justified.
Whether it’s how fast you’re walking the mailbox, parking farther away from the main entrance, the amount of steps you can take simply cleaning your house or chasing your kids. These activities can help play a role in reaching your health and fitness goals too! Can you be more active during those down-times, even if you’re working at a desk most of the day, can you swap your chair for a bosu ball - even fidgeting contributes to NEAT. Or placing your ‘frequently used’ items a little farther away so you can get some more movement in during your days. Are there little things you can do to keep your body moving and help you stay on track with your goals?
Perhaps these are the days when you either don’t have time to get an official workout in, you can make time to play with the kids in the yard, walk a little faster through the airport, time yourself putting away the dishes and see if you can break a sweat. Vacation, like spring break coming up, is always a time when we typically take a break from our regular workouts - can you find opportunities in all the in-between to be more active, to keep your body moving, to get your heart rate up having fun and making memories with your favorite people? Fitness really is NEAT and you can totally find ways outside of the gym too!
What other ways can you increase your NEAT fitness during the day?
Awesome content! Loved reading this and so applicable!!