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That’s NEAT!

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NEAT. It stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and it encompasses all the calories burned through non-exercise movements we make doing day to day activities. NEAT excludes going to the gym or any planned exercise, sleeping, eating, and breathing. It includes walking the grocery store isles, fidgeting at your desk, standing, bobbing up and down in the car while you listen to music, and household chores. Anything that burns calories is NEAT. While no single NEAT activity is a big deal, combining these activities can greatly impact our metabolic rates and the number of calories we burn. That’s NEAT, and a reason to be aware of those small activities that can really add up!

The Benefits

NEAT can vary significantly from person to person and is influenced by a variety of factors, including occupation, lifestyle, and personal habits. However, regardless of those variables, NEAT offers us all the same benefits including:

Weight Management – NEAT plays a crucial role in daily energy expenditure. By increasing your general movement, you can burn more calories throughout the day, which can aid in weight management and prevent weight gain.
Enhanced Metabolic Rate – Regularly engaging in NEAT can boost your metabolic rate, helping to improve energy levels and overall metabolic health
Improved Cardiovascular Health – Activities that increase NEAT, such as walking and standing, can improve cardiovascular health by enhancing blood circulation and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases – Higher levels of NEAT have been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancer.

Make It Fun

While many of us cringe at the thought of going to the gym or putting on our running shoes after work, incorporating more NEAT into our daily lives can be much easier and even enjoyable. Things you can do starting now include:

Take up a hobby. Gardening, for example, has been touted as a longevity exercise with people around the world, and particularly in the Blue Zones, enjoying gardening. If that’s not your thing – there is a world of activities to choose from.
Stand up. Use a standing desk or take regular breaks from sitting to stand up and stretch. Standing burns more calories than sitting and can help reduce the negative impacts of prolonged sedentary behavior.
Take the stairs. Choose the stairs instead of elevators or escalators whenever possible. New research shows that this simple change can significantly increase your daily energy expenditure and improve your heart health even more than we originally thought.
Household Chores. Engage in activities like cleaning, DIY projects, or organizing. These tasks not only contribute to a tidy home but also add to your daily NEAT.
Walk more. Try to walk for short distances instead of driving. Park your car further away from entrances, take walking meetings, or stroll during phone calls.
Just move. Tapping your feet, stretching, getting up and down in your chair – they all add up over the course of a day. Fidgeting is a good thing when it comes to NEAT!

Conscious Choices

We all know people who never go to the gym, don’t play sports, but also never stop moving. They tend to be lean and healthy! Numerous studies support the fact that increased NEAT makes individuals less likely to have weight gain problems. Additionally, those increased NEAT levels also directly relate to other health benefits including reduced risk of chronic diseases. We all know that a sedentary lifestyle can impact your health and even cause death.

Being more aware of the power of NEAT as part of your 100 Year Lifestyle can enhance your healthy longevity and make it even more enjoyable. As you make those conscious choices to take care of yourself, remember that a healthy spine and nervous system are essential to a long, healthy life. Luckily, there’s a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you! And that’s really neat!

 

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