07 Oct NEAT – How to stay active without setting foot in a gym
So this title is a bit of click bait but also the truth. It is possible to stay active and make a bigger impact on your weight management or weight loss by not having to ever see the inside of a gym or ever do a fitness class, if that’s something that doesn’t excite you.
I am talking about keeping it NEAT – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Non–exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.
As a trainer I see most of my clients 2-3 times a week and all of them are with me because they want to lose weight. I’ll share with you one piece of advice I remind them of on a daily basis – I can only take responsibility for the 2-3 hours I spend with them a week, the rest of the time the onus is on them to stay active, keep moving and make smart choices in terms of their nutrition (more on this in my next post!).
Don’t discount that walk from the furthest parking space in the parking lot or opting to only use the stairs at work or at malls. I often see young and older able-bodied men, women and young people rather queuing at a lift door (with no baby stroller) in a busy mall than taking the stairs or escalator. Why is this? Some laugh it off and say “I’m lazy! *chuckle* *chuckle*” – not a good enough excuse as far as I am concerned!
If more people opted for choosing to be more active in their everyday life, less people would be overweight and complain about sore knees, joints and various other aches and pains.
As South Africans we are a nation getting fatter by the day – more so our ladies. I am here to tell you that you can make a change now without the financial outlay of gym memberships, paying for any additional help from a fitness professional. All you need to do is keep moving throughout your day. If you have a desk bound job, make it a habit to get up every 30-60mins and stretch your legs, use the ladies room that is furthest away, commit to never using the lifts, and if you work on say the 20th floor of a building and can’t quite do all the flights of stairs, commit to do part of them and then add a few more flights the stronger you get. There are even those standing desks now that you can get, which is so good to keep you moving, if you really have the luxury, you could even have those desks installed on top of a treadmill and work while taking an easy slow walk on a treadmill.
When on holidays or picnics, commit to plan fun activities that require you to be active and stay moving like bike rides along the promenade, ball games with your kids or family, hikes, horse riding, swimming, snorkelling, canoeing or stand-up paddle boarding – All fun activities that will have you burning loads of calories while you make amazing memories and have fun with your family and friends.
When you are ready to take a more targeted approach and needed some further guidance from a fitness professional – this is when you could consider doing a group class, hiring a personal trainer etc. But even then, combining that with general overall daily activity through incidental exercises as discussed above will make a major difference to your weight loss and overall well being.
Keep it NEAT!
Happy Healthy Fabulous