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How often should I move my body?

Consistent daily movement is so important for our body, but did you know it is also key for long-term weight loss success and weight maintenance?

What is NEAT?

NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and it describes the amount of calories we burn doing just day-to-day activities.

In other words, if you count your formal exercise as doing your daily exercise class or going for a brisk 40 minute walk, swimming, or weight training then the NEAT would be your other movement throughout the day. It's everything from fidgeting, to getting up and down from your chair to gardening and housework. Even doing the washing up counts! Often anything that increases your general unconscious step count and daily movement.

Why is NEAT Important?

NEAT can account for up to fifteen to thirty percent of your daily calorie expenditure. It can increase your metabolic rate, so making every movement count is essential.

Studies have shown that people who are more active throughout the day tend to be leaner than those who are less active. Research shows that increasing NEAT every day can significantly impact your health/weight loss goals.

Many of us are looking to maximise our daily and caloric output. However, there’s only so much exercise one can realistically and healthfully fit into a day. But there are other ways to keep our metabolism humming like non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).

Ways to increase your NEAT

  • It is hard to get away from the fact that most of us have quite sedentary jobs, but we could try and have walking meetings and stand more whilst working.

  • Park your car further away from your place of work. This one seems very obvious but if you can walk somewhere then walk! Or cycle.

  • Get a Fitbit or a pedometer. Tracking your step count means you can be accountable to how active (or inactive you are being). You may think you are quite an active person, but once you start measuring this you realise you are far less active than you thought.

  • There’s something about a clean house that clears your mind. But cleaning and gardening can also spike your calorie burn and increase your NEAT.

  • Embrace restlessness, tap your feet at your desk, do some ankle rotations. The great thing about a fidgeting activity is that you can do it anywhere! Try and get moving during your work breaks. These are just some ideas that may help you increase your NEAT.

The key thing is to focus on creating opportunities for movement during your normal daily activities, some small life changes could end up giving you some big results.

If you'd like to move more for your health check out betterbodies group exercise page.

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