Are you feeling a bit bleurgh after overindulging this weekend? Don’t feel guilty about the chocolate you may have enjoyed , we all know in the current situation (when we are away from family and friends) that a bit of chocolate or glass of wine may be the only small comfort we have. Read on for some ways to include more NEAT movement in your day and get that pep back in your step.
If you have woken up feeling a little sluggish one of the best ways to counteract this is to work more movement into your day. When we say movement we don’t just mean ‘formal’ exercise like jogging or strength training or yoga, we mean general movement or NEAT – Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports. Although highly variable from person to person (did you know fidgeting counts?!) it can account for up to 25% of daily energy expenditure. This makes it a good tool for weight management but also longevity. The longer you sit the shorter your life!
Epidemiological studies highlight the importance of culture in increasing or decreasing NEAT e.g., agricultural and manual workers have high NEAT, whereas office and industrialised workers appear to have decreased levels. People in blue zones are reported to achieve higher levels or NEAT, hence their greater longevity.
To help you get back on track, here are some ideas as to how you can have a NEAT-er day!
- Take the stairs – this is one of the easiest ways. Challenge yourself here and create reasons for having to go upstairs. Split the load of laundry you need to bring down into two for example. Make it so you need to go back upstairs to get the second load.
- Buy (or build!) a standing desk. Now that we are all mostly working from home this can involve a lot more sitting. Of course, you can splurge on a fancy contraption. However, if you pop ‘DIY standing desk’ into your search engine you will find lots of inventive ideas.
- Fidget – yes really! You know the person who taps the desk or the floor constantly (and probably drives you mad) well they may have higher NEAT due to this annoying habit!
- Housework – probably our least favourite but a heavy hoovering session or finally cleaning those skirting boards will go a nice way towards increasing your NEAT.
- Gardening – this can be a win / win too. A vigorous weeding session will count towards your NEAT but also have your neighbours looking over the fence in envy. You can even consider growing your own. We love this kit to get you started!
So, there you go, five ways you can increase your energy expenditure for wellness and longevity.
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