N.E.A.T.

While the title of this post might lead you to believe that it will include more information about the benefits of decluttering, I actually want to discuss non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT. NEAT refers to any exercise you do throughout the day outside of formal exercise. When looking to lose (or maintain) weight, we often focus on eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress; however, NEAT is also a big piece of the puzzle.

You might spend an hour a day in the gym, and seven or so sleeping, but what you do the other sixteen hours of the day has a huge impact on your energy expenditure (calories burned). If you have an active job (you’re a fire fighter, construction worker or server), you probably don’t have to worry about your NEAT; but if you are more sedentary, you may want to give it some thought.

I spend a lot of my day sitting or standing in front of a computer, and at the end of the day (after I have driven home), it is so tempting to just sit and watch some television. I have to be really conscious about increasing my NEAT. That is one reason that I purchased a Fitbit. Mine is a basic model: the Flex 2 (affiliate link), but it does everything I need: tracks steps and reminds me to take at least 250 steps each hour. It also allows me to track my sleep, food and weight.

A common recommendation is to aim for at least 10,000 steps a day if you are looking to lose weight. When I reach my goal, my Fitbit buzzes and puts on a little light show for me, which I never tire of. If you are interested in a tracker, there are lots of options at different prices.

There are many other ways to increase your NEAT:

  • taking your dog for a walk
  • gardening
  • vacuuming
  • cycling to work
  • dancing during commercial breaks…

What can you add to make your life NEATer?

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