What if being physically fit was a natural by-product of what you do everyday? This was, after all, how it was in the past – when physical work was a part of every life for most people. Formal exercise is a relatively new development.
Now that we sit more and move less, the focus has shifted to scripted exercise. So now many people, including fitness professionals, consider only workouts at the gym or organized sports to be “real exercise.”
It’s time to go back to basics.
Back to Movement Basics
But amazingly, even with our modern conveniences, our daily activities still add up to be a big part of our energy expended throughout each day – about 75%!
OK, I know what you smarty pants math types are thinking – 75% of a small pie is not nearly as good as 75% of a big one. So yes, our great grandparents had a bigger energy expenditure pie – more physical work. And likely it was nearly 100% of daily activities for them.
Nevertheless, it’s good news – we’re going back to basics. Scientists are now calling our daily movements NEAT, short for “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis,” and studying how changes in NEAT affect calorie expenditure.
NEAT is a simple way we can all use to tackle health and weight issues. Our daily activities are actually better exercise than most people get at the gym. A variety of movements that use our whole body is better than repetitious movements that work specific body parts. Our NEAT activities improve our joint mobility, strength and circulation. And we are doing these movements through out the day, rather than an hour at a time.
What an amazing bonus from just doing all the things we normally do! You can measure this activity if you like with the fitness bracelet of your choice. And you can bump up the value of your NEAT by making a few changes to your daily habits.
It’s simple, free and really good for you.
The Other 25%
Wondering whether you should cancel your gym membership? Maybe – if you don’t want to go, and yet feel guilty about skipping workouts.
The other possibility is use a few hours at the gym to support your NEAT activities – though you might need to change your workouts.
This is what I do. As a movement specialist, it’s my goal is to teach people how to move well during the 23 hours I’m not with them. There’s a big pay-off. By training your connective tissue, you get healthy, pain-free movement with less energy expended.
You can start now by reading about how to bump up your 75% NEAT value.