Sarah Hooff CHN, CSNC
Six Weeks of Wellness, NEAT Activities!
Feeling like a bit of a slug these days? Not to worry, we have a safe and natural cure for that! From brushing our hair to bringing in the groceries, NEAT stands for Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis, in other words all the non exercise movements we all do daily. Are you a person with spring in your step, or perhaps you would like a little more energy in the day? Increasing our movement is a powerful way to increase our energy levels! Who knew right? In fact when we look at our cells under a microscope people who move their bodies have more mitochondria present. Mitochondria are the battery like components of the cell and people who move have more! Pretty cool huh?
I was working with a client a few weeks ago and something she said really got me thinking. She was filling out her forms and when asked about physical activity she stated zero. Funny thing was as we got talking it turns out she walks a lot, a lot! This totally counts! While the fitness industry has done a great job promoting fitness in its many forms, tabata, HIIT, bootcamps, you name it, the fact is exercise is exercise. Also for some people you can even have too much of a good thing. People who over exert themselves can be considered less healthy than someone who moves moderately. Rest and repair is essential for our health! Another interesting fact is while a person may be a lighter weight and hardly exercise, the person some may consider overweight who exercises regularly is more than likely healthier than the body that doesn't move much. My point is not to beat yourself up if you're not at an intermediate level, you can still reap the benefits of movement and feel great!
So if you have been a bit of a couch potato for the last while not to worry, one can safely begin just by getting off that couch and weaving some extra movement into the things that you do already. Here are some great examples to follow.
I really love squats in front of the stove when I'm cooking. I have to cook a lot so for me starting there works like a charm.
Its also spring, so perhaps start a garden or fill those flower pots, getting out doors is also a great way to burn calories. Before you know it your pants may start to get lose and you'll feel extra energy in no time!
Some NEAT Ways to Help Increase Activity
⦁ Parking on the far side of the parking lot or
⦁ Walk or cycle to work
⦁ Take the stairs
⦁ Walking lunges on your way to the car
⦁ Doing squats in front of your stove while cooking
⦁ Take mini breaks away from your computer, stretch, squat, shoulder press (without weights) to help increase circulation.
⦁ Pick up some resistance bands and do a few bicep curls (or a thousand other options) every time you check your email or when watching a movie
⦁ Plant a garden or grow flowers. Water and weed all summer long!
⦁ Put music on while house cleaning and have fun while your at it.
⦁ Jumping! Also great for the circulation. Jump squats are also great. Just be sure to watch your form and take care of your knees.
⦁ If you already walk your dog daily, increase your walk by 5 minutes. After one week you'll have enjoyed and extra 35 minutes of physical activity!
Hope you enjoyed my little list. It really can be that simple. Build off of the things you already do and the habit should stick. Hope everyone is feeling great this spring so far. If you have any other NEAT ideas I'd love to hear them! Next week we'll be discussing the benefits of resistance training so hope you stay tuned.
Take good care and talk soon!