Today we are going to discuss something pretty neat. That special something is N.E.A.T. (that's a joke!)
"What is N.E.A.T.?”
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
Think of it as the energy (calories) you use for activities outside of sleeping and exercising.
What makes this so important to touch base on? Well, N.E.A.T. is probably the single biggest lever we can pull on in regards to weight/fat loss and management because, for a relatively small energy cost, it can really be helpful.
Over the years, we often start noticing that it's harder to lose weight, or it seems to increase no matter what we do, and our age often gets the blame.
"When I hit 40...." or "My metabolism isn't working like it used to..." While those comments have grains of truth, the reality is a little more complicated.
Around those same years, we also happen to be moving less than we have ever before. We aren’t kids sprinting to the bathroom anymore. We’re not walking for transportation like in college.
The reality is that most of us are sedentary adults who work too damn much (which that financial success often leads to a life of more choices with less physical exertion) and who pedal, run, or lift weights "a few" times a week. We are much less active than we want to realize.
Remember that we aren't looking at calorie burn necessarily. More like a low-level activity with a low cost for us. If we work out super hard all the time, at some point, that energy investment comes with the cost of increased hunger, fatigue, and soreness.
While those workouts are an essential part of an active lifestyle, they can't be everything all the time.
So one way to get started would be simply by identifying what our current levels of N.E.A.T. look like right now using any type of a step tracker and then look to increase that activity level slowly over the next few weeks.
Once you do that and you know what you can do, you can see how to mix more activity into your day.
A few ideas can be:
Using a push mower instead of a rider
Shoveling some of the snow (don't shovel it all... that sounds awful)
Incorporating active rest in your workouts
More intentional movement around your home
Getting a dog
Walking for golf instead of riding the cart
Taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
All in all...little things add up!