Are you taking advantage of NEAT training??
Burning calories doesn’t have to mean busting a gut in the gym. We all burn energy during our daily routine, and there’s even a catchy name for it: non-excise activity thermogenesis (or NEAT) . It’s the energy we use for everything from walking up stairs to texting, and with a little thought, it’s easy to turn mundane daily activities into calorie burning opportunities—no gym membership required.
The best part is that, according to new research, these activities can help with weight management and actually count toward recommended exercise guidelines (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12468415).
We might not work up a sweat while shopping or doing housework, but every minute when we’re not lounging on the couch is another step toward good health.
Read on to see how to make these everyday activities count even more and to ensure you are taking advantage of NEAT training.
Your Action Plan
For a long time, researchers thought that, in order for exercise to count we had to be active for at least 10 minutes at a time. But results from a new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion are causing some scientists to rethink those beliefs.
Researchers looked at physical activity in adults between the ages of 18 and 64 and found that both long and short bouts of higher-intensity exercise were associated with lower BMI and risk of overweight and obesity. (“Long bouts” means at least 10 minutes of physical activity; “short bouts” refers to less than 10 minutes of physical activity. Intensity was measured by accelerometer counts per minute.)
These findings should encourage us to take advantage of all the opportunities to get active, from the boardroom to the laundry room. By turning off the autopilot and tackling everyday tasks with a little more speed, energy, and intensity, the usual chores can get a hidden calorie-burning boost.
• Shop around. Whether it’s shopping for groceries or a new pair of trainers (http://www.runnersneed.com), shopping means walking, and walking burns calories (we’re talking 120 to 150 per half hour) . Ready to boost the burn? Park as far away from the store’s entrance as possible to add some distance to the walk, and just say no to elevators and escalators. Bonus: taking the stairs can burn more calories per minute than jogging. Try two at a time to really get things moving.
• Clean the house. Vacuuming is good for 150 calories per hour. So throw on the tunes, add in some dance moves like Queen, clean the house and burn a few extra cals.
• Shake and bake. Thirty minutes of chopping veggies or washing pots and pans may only burn around 75 calories, but add in some glute isometrics (read: squeezing the butt), and the derriere gets a workout, too. And don’t forget to ditch the electric mixer. Stirring the batter by hand will give the arm muscles some extra love.
• Sit tight. Sitting in class, meetings, or at a desk wont burn much on it own, so try putting those shoulder muscles to work by crunching them toward the ears . Next, tighten the core and squeeze the butt, and let the muscle shaping begin.
• Short ride. Getting off the bus or train one stop early is an easy way togo the extra mile (and did we mention walking can burn around 120 calories per half hour?).
• Wax on, wax off. Washing the car can burn 135 calories in 30 minutes. Add in a few sets of calf raises to reach the roof of the car, along with a few sets of squats (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-oz1OKb4P0) to wash the tires and the legs get a workout, too.
Of course, these are by no means the only ways to get moving day-to-day. Having an open mind (and a willing body!) is key to keeping active every day.
While traditional aerobic activity and resistance training (http://jdpfitness.wpengine.com/muscle-and-physique-package-2/) are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, everyday activities can be an additional way to get us moving—especially with a few calorie-blasting tricks.
Share a video to Instagram of you taking advantage of NEAT training and tag us in (@jdphealthfitness) to be in with a chance of winning a free Personal Training session with one of our PT’S.