Health Tips > Prevention Plus > NEAT Fitness Technique Makes Everyday Moves Count for Fitness

NEAT Fitness Technique Makes Everyday Moves Count for Fitness

View All Section Pages

NEAT Fitness Technique Makes Everyday Moves Count for Fitness

Every day you are expending energy, even without deliberate exercise. Cooking, typing on the computer, cleaning house, walking up or down stairs— these are all examples of non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT. Though it is not a substitute for exercise, NEAT plays an important role in overall fitness.

An individual who performs manual labor on a daily basis will have high NEAT compared with someone who has a desk job. Whether you work at a desk or are on your feet all day, there are ways you can increase your daily NEAT.

Dr. Riva Rahl, Preventive Medicine Physician and Medical Director at Cooper Clinic explains NEAT and its importance in promoting health and fitness.

Why Does NEAT Matter?

The more you move and the less you sit, the better your overall health will be. Physical activity in any form expends energy, which burns calories. This non-exercise expenditure of energy is just as important as deliberate exercise you get at the gym.

“People who get more NEAT tend to weigh less than people who get less NEAT,” says Dr. Rahl. “Every little thing counts, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or getting off the couch to change the channel on your TV instead of using the remote control.”

But NEAT does not count toward your 150 minutes of physical activity you should be getting each week.

Even if you make a habit of exercising 30 minutes a day at the gym, but you are sedentary the rest of the time, you will find that weight loss is harder for you than for someone who works out 30 minutes at the gym every day, but is also moving all day long.

“It makes inherent sense,” says Dr. Rahl. “Even though it’s not organized exercise, you will burn calories over time.” It’s the accumulative calories burned that really matter when it comes to fitness and weight loss. 

Get up, get down, every few minutes, every little bit helps. People who are continually physically active have higher calorie burn than those who don’t.

If you need some motivation, buy a pedometer to track how much moving you do in a day and work to do a little bit more each day. Instead of searching for the parking spot nearest the door, park at the far end of the parking lot and walk. When you’re on a conference call for work, stand up and pace back and forth, rather than sitting through the call. By making simple changes in your daily routine, you can significantly increase your NEAT, boosting your overall calorie burn and helping you maintain or lose weight.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.