NEAT : THE WORKOUT YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE DOING
You’ll never look at your vacuum cleaner the same
What if we told you that household chores are crucial to achieving your fitness goals?
Learn the NEAT secret and never look at your vacuum cleaner the same!
At BEAT Fitness we’re on a mission to help our community make healthy living a habit. One way we do that is by educating our members so they can make smarter, informed decisions about their health and fitness.
Whether you are a member at BEAT Fitness or not, if you're looking to improve your fitness goals, you've probably come across a lot of advice about the importance of exercise.
While exercise is definitely a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, there's another factor that is often overlooked: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT.
WHAT IS NEAT ?
NEAT refers to the energy you burn through all of your daily movements and activities that are not considered exercise. This can include anything from walking around your house or office, to fidgeting, to gardening or household chores.
The concept of NEAT was first introduced by Dr. James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, who discovered that some people have a naturally higher level of NEAT than others, and that this can significantly impact their energy balance and weight management. Dr. Levine's research found that people with higher NEAT levels were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight than those with lower NEAT levels, regardless of their exercise habits.
While these activities may not seem like much, they can actually have a significant impact on your overall health and fitness goals.
HOW CAN NEAT HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS?
First, it's essential to understand that NEAT is mostly unconscious and unplanned. Unlike intentional exercise, NEAT activities are part of our daily lives and don't require any additional time or effort. By increasing your NEAT levels, you can burn more calories throughout the day without even realising it. This can help you maintain a calorie deficit and support weight loss or weight maintenance goals.
Another benefit of NEAT is that it can help counteract the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. Sitting for long periods of time can have a range of negative health effects, including increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. However, incorporating more NEAT activities throughout your day can help offset these negative effects.
EXAMPLE OF NEAT ACTIVITIES:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking or biking to work instead of driving
- Doing household chores like vacuuming or washing dishes
- Gardening or spring cleaning
- Fidgeting, such as tapping your foot or dancing while brushing your teeth…
- Standing up and moving around every hour or so, especially if you have a sedentary job!
CHANGING YOUR MINDSET
So if you're looking to improve your overall fitness, don't just focus on your planned exercise routine. Consider incorporating more NEAT activities into your daily life to help boost your energy expenditure and offset the negative effects of sedentary behaviour.
Most important of all, acknowledging the NEAT activities you are doing can get rid of any unwarranted guilt of “non-workout” days. Active recovery days are a crucial part of the fitness jigsaw puzzle.
Been trying to get fitter but haven’t achieved the results you want?
Reset now with these simple steps:
- Recognise the NEAT activities you are already doing and congratulate yourself! Taking time to acknowledge the positive habits you already have can help reinforce and accentuate those positive behaviours via self affirmation.
- Check in with yourself honestly: are you following the fitness prescription given to you by your coach?
- Be patient! If you are following your fitness plan and celebrating small wins along the way then be patient - long term fitness adaptations take...time!
Still feeling lost?
If you are a member at BEAT, book a Goal Review to check in with a coach.
Not a member yet? Book a Free Consultation so we can plan your success together.
Levine, J. A. (2004). Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): environment and biology. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 286(5), E675-E685.
Villablanca, P. A., Alegria, J. R., & Mookadam, F. (2018). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis: The cinderella of a Cinderella story. Journal of clinical medicine research, 10(8), 608-613.