People are always trying to convince others to workout by saying, “An hour is only 4% of your day!” While I agree with this, we shouldn’t forget that how we spend the remaining 96% matters. Working out is great for our mental and physical health, but if the other hours in our day aren’t spent with much activity, it might not make an impactful difference. That’s why I tell my clients to also focus on their NEAT energy levels.
NEAT energy stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It’s basically how much energy you burn doing things not related to sleeping, eating or working out. It includes walking, standing, sitting, carrying your purse and even fidgeting. Basically it includes all the movements you make throughout the day.
The problem most of us have is that after a hard workout we:
- think we deserve a reward (often in the form of food) or
- we decide we deserve to take it easy for the rest of the day.
I am totally guilty of this!
But seeing as NEAT energy accounts for so much of our day and so much of the calories we burn, it is important that we make an effort to remain active throughout the day.
It can be simple things like:
- doing squats at the photocopier 😉
- parking far from the store and walking
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- walking up the escalator instead of just standing there
- getting up every 30 minutes or hour to walk around the office
- biking instead of driving
- using a standing desk instead of sitting
- walk while you talk on the phone
- taking a stretch break or stretching at your desk
- get off the bus a stop early and walk a little longer than usual
- do a lap or two of the mall before shopping
- dance while you fold laundry
- sit on a stability ball at work
- use a pedometer to track your steps and try to increase your current number of steps
I like to start my days with some light movement. Recently, this has been yoga or a long walk with my pup Baxter (Mr. Beefy.) Waking up and getting straight into movement starts my day off right and keeps my momentum going!
As important as it is to be mindful of movement, it’s also important to discover how much to fuel your body. If you’re struggling to figure out how much to eat, access my Macro/Calorie Calculation Guide in my members area. This is how I calculate the calories of my personal nutrition clients.
I challenge you to add 2 extra forms of movement to your day and see how easy it is to stick to them! Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a message on Instagram.