When you search for ways to lose fat, you may be coming across the term non-exercise activity thermogenesis. What is it? How does it differ from regular exercises? And why may this be the key to helping you stick to your goals for the new year?
What Is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)?
NEAT is the energy that you use for all activity besides exercise. It’s easier to explain by giving some contrasting examples. If you go to the gym or for a run, that’s exercise. When you rake the leaves or use the stairs instead of taking the elevator, that’s NEAT. Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle doesn’t involve anywhere near as much NEAT as our ancestors got. So what can you do to get more of this fat-burning type of activity? Here are a few tips.
#1. Walk Everywhere That You Can
When we run errands, it is easier than ever to do just about everything sitting down. You can shop for clothes from your tablet, have your food delivered, and sit in the driver’s seat while circling the parking lot to find the closest possible spot when you go to a store. However, adding a little bit of walking to all of these activity may be really good for your health.
The next time you want to buy something, try going to the store or a mall. Instead of taking the closest parking spot, pull into the first spot you see and walk everywhere. Do the same thing for grocery shopping or other errands. If you live in an apartment building, trying taking the stairs instead of the elevator, at least when you don’t have a bunch of bags.
#2. Do Your Own House and Yard Work
Instead of hiring a cleaning person and yard maintenance team, do your own work around the house. If your concern is time, remember that this is your exercise, and it can improve your health, so you are actually making more time by doing your own chores. If your concern is doing it wrong, look up some YouTube videos on how to organize your closet or the best way to weed the garden. You may find you actually enjoy these activity and you get health benefits at the same time.
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#3. Stand More at Work
If you can get a desk that converts between sitting and standing, that is ideal. Try switching it up every hour or two. If not, get up from your desk every couple of hours and walk to the watercooler, the bathroom, or take a quick trip up and down the stairs. If you can’t break away from the desk, learn some stretches you can perform in your office. Just make sure that you don’t sit all day long.
The Advantages of NEAT
Of course, NEAT is never going to completely replace exercise unless you are doing a whole lot of it. So is it worth it? Here are a few reasons that you should definitely be adding more activity to your everyday routine.
- Faster recovery times – You may be sore for days after a big workout at the gym, but it doesn’t take anywhere near as long to recover from taking a few flights of stairs.
- You are unlikely to overdo it – It is easy to work out too long at the gym when you are surrounded by other people pushing themselves. If you’re alone in the stairwell and get tired, it’s easy just to exit and use the elevator for the last few floors.
- You’ll enjoy the fresh air – If you spend more time walking outside, whether you walk to the post office to get your mail or simply take a stroll from the last spot in the parking lot to the grocery store, it will be good for your health. The fresh air and a little sunlight can help improve everything from calcium absorption to how well you sleep at night.
- It’s a stress reliever – The extra walking produces hormones that counteract cortisol and other stress hormones. Once you start doing more activity on yourself, you won’t want to stop. In fact, when you feel stresses coming back on you, you may go for a walk around the mall or take the stairs a few times just to clear your head.
Reach Your Health and Wellness Goals in 2020
Being more active in general may be your ticket to actually reaching your health and wellness goals in 2020 and sticking to a good routine activity. You don’t have to worry about taking a powerwalk just before midnight to force your step count over 10,000. Actually, research leans more toward 7,500 steps per day being optimal for longevity. And if whatever you do is better than before, at least you are making progress.
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