This is a call to action: Gym Haters Unite-try exercising the NEAT way!
Raise your hands if you hate going to the Gym…You know you need to get your body moving some kind of way, but you just don’t “fit in” with all those gym-type people. So, let me tell you how to work around that with some NEAT exercises you can do anywhere.
Besides, here’s a secret: When it comes to overall health, just making it to the gym is not enough daily movement. You will build more calorie-burning into your day if you try exercising the NEAT way.
Did you know that adults who exercise for shorter amounts of time can lose as much weight as those who work out for up to twice as long?
It’s simple really. Just moving more and sitting less can boost your health because of the calorie burning called NEAT, which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
It takes energy — calories — to move even the smallest muscle. For example:
➡ You burn about 1.5 calories per minute just lying still while your body performs its most basic functions.
➡ If you go from lying down to sitting in a chair and answering e-mail, you’ll burn 25 % more calories.
That’s a pretty easy way to try exercising the NEAT way…
➡ And, if you start fidgeting in your chair, guess what? You’ll burn even more calories.
In just 30 minutes, a person who weighs 150 pounds can burn the following number of calories:
• Raking leaves = 147 calories
• Gardening or weeding = 153 calories
• Moving (packing and unpacking) = 191 calories
• Vacuuming = 119 calories
• Cleaning the house = 102 calories
• Playing with the kids (moderate activity level) = 136 calories
• Mowing the lawn = 205 calories
• Strolling = 103 calories
ALL those little movements add up: The amount of everyday activity you get — beyond the
30 minutes of traditional exercise you might be doing — matter even more for your overall health than trips to the gym. And this is according to recent research results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Interested? Here’s how you can try exercising the NEAT way to make the move-more concept work for you.
1 Make An Appointment to Move
If you have a desk job or collapse on the couch as soon as you get home, train yourself to just get up more — it could help you live longer.
People who stand fewer than three hours a day live at least three years longer than their sedentary peers.
Another recent study published in the British Medical Journal found this connection:
“Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.”
➡ Getting up hourly and walking to the restroom, getting a refill of water, or standing up to stretch can decrease stiffness, boost energy, and burn calories.
➡ When watching TV, get up and move during every commercial break.
➡ Do a few stretches, walk around the house, or bust out a few bicep curls. All are easy exercises for beginners.
2 Get a Pedometer
➡ Wear it all the time to track both at-work and at-home exercises.
There’s nothing like having a running tally of your steps per day staring at you from your pedometer to make you want to move more. There are also Apps you can download for free to put on your phones that will do the same.
3 Add in Steps
Once you have a pedometer, one of the best NEAT exercises for beginners is to find creative ways to increase steps every day.
You can easily add movement to almost every daily activity:
➡ Park at the far end of the parking lot or get off the subway or bus a stop early.
Extra steps add up to significant calories over time, which is what makes them easy exercises for weight loss.
4 Pace and Fidget
Remember your mom telling you to stop fidgeting? Well, now that you’re all grown up, I’m telling you the opposite…
You probably try to avoid pacing and fidgeting to keep from looking antsy or silly to those around you, but it’s great exercise for weight loss.
➡ Pacing, instead of just standing still, and fidgeting instead of sitting still, will burn more calories and are prime examples of NEAT in action.
➡ Pace when talking on the phone
➡ Use talking on the phone as a cue to stand up and start pacing or just shifting your weight from one foot to the other.
➡ Stand up and stretch every time you hit ‘send’ on an e-mail.”
If you want easy exercises for weight loss that really pay dividends, take the stairs whenever possible.
➡ If climbing stairs seems too daunting, take the elevator up and walk down on your way out.
➡ If you’re going to the fifth floor, walk up to 2 or 3 floors and take the elevator the rest of the way.
Using the stairs is a great way to burn calories and strengthen your legs.
Really! (my personal favorite)
Cleaning is one at-home exercise that we all have to do — you might hate it, but it’s NEAT at its finest.
➡ Amp up the calorie burn by turning on the music. A good tune can add some extra pep to your step as you vacuum, iron, and clean up around the apartment or house.
The music, along with the joy of dancing freely can cause the brain to signal the release of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone, creating emotional benefits while you burn off those calories.
7 Carry Your Groceries
Combine strength training and errands on your next trip to the store:
➡ If you live within walking distance of your market, see if you can carry groceries in your arms rather than using a cart.
➡ If you have to drive, turn unloading the car into an at-home exercise, and add a few bicep curls every time you lift a bag out of the trunk.
8 Take Advantage of Sitting
NEAT exercises done at home while you’re sitting can be excellent sources of strength training for beginners.
➡ Raise your heels, gently pressing your toes to the floor or carpet while seated. This is a great option for working on the muscles of the lower legs.
➡ Place a large book on your knees while raising the heels to provide more resistance and an even bigger boost in caloric expenditure.
9 Turn Waiting in Line Into Exercise
Whether you’re at the grocery store, the post office, or the movies, waiting in line can turn into a NEAT opportunity to get some easy exercises, getting stronger and losing weight.
➡ Stand on one leg or step side to side when waiting for an elevator, the bus, or the train
➡ If you’re taking a subway or a bus, stand. There are plenty of people who’ll be grateful for your seat!
10 Have a Ball
➡ It forces you to balance yourself so you are constantly using your core muscles.
➡ Along with strengthening the core, the ball gives an opportunity to gently bounce and move during the day so you can burn more calories just sitting at your desk. If you can’t sit on a ball at work, try it at home while watching television, eating dinner, playing video games, doing laundry, or reading. Anytime you can be sitting, you can be sitting on the ball
SO…TELL ME: How do you squeeze extra activity into your day? Let me know in the comments below!