11/15 Health & Wellness Tip – NEAT

When it comes to exercise, many of us think of doing an activity for 30, 45, 60 minutes. Maybe walking, jogging, hiking, weightlifting, or yoga. And that works great for those of us that can spend 30 or more minutes at a time being active. This is the ideal we want to achieve at some point in time.

In the meantime, maybe this doesn’t work for you. Just because you can’t allocate a 30 minute block of time to exercise doesn’t mean you should give up. NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is the add’l calorie burning you will receive from moving opposed to sitting or lying down. Every bit of movement you fit into your day adds up.

  • Use stairs instead of using the elevator
  • When you stand in line to purchase something, raise your heels up and down to give your calves a workout
  • When you go to a store, park further away
  • Use a hand-basket instead of a cart to carry your groceries
  • Walk through more of the store than you need to (walk the perimeter and through more aisles, avoiding adding more into your basket than you planned to buy)
  • If you watch a bit of television at night, stand for half the show and/or let the commercials play and get up and walk around during the commercials
  • Instead of sending an email to a co-worker, go walk to their desk and talk to them
  • Take a 5-minute break in your day to get outside and stand or walk around for a couple minutes

Again, any movement you can do throughout your day is more than you were doing before. Here are the tips from Wyatt Myers in his article titled NEAT Exercises for Couch Potatoes.

  1. Make appointments to move
  2. Get a pedometer
  3. Add in steps
  4. Pace and fidget
  5. Take the stairs
  6. Dance while you clean
  7. Carry your groceries
  8. Take advantage of sitting
  9. Turn waiting in line into exercise
  10. Have a ball


by Michele Spear