By NEAT, we don’t mean how clean and tidy you are – however that could contribute to your daily activity! We are actually talking about Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) which is essentially the energy you use doing everything that is not sports/gym exercise.
So those of you who are standing up all day at work will probably be getting a vast amount of steps per day, but for the rest of the work force who are stuck at their desks all day answering emails and call – it is much more difficult to increase activity levels outside the gym!
Our energy expenditure is broken down into 4 key areas:
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate. The energy you burn at rest. Yes that’s right. The energy your body needs to stay alive – now the last thing we want you to do is sit and do nothing all day, but want to also make it clear that missing a day going to the gym is ok from time to time!
Next up is EAT – Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. The calories you burn during exercise. This can vary between different types of training, effort, time spent and is relative to you and roughly 10% of your daily calorie average.
Then we have TEF – Thermic Effect of Food. This is the amount of energy expenditure above the BMR that is required to process food for use and storage. This thermic effect can vary depending on which macronutrients it’s digesting – fat is easier to digest and has little thermic effect compared to protein, which is harder to process and therefore has a larger thermic effect.
Then the KEY to helping you burn more calories is your NEAT – Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This is your standing, your walking, climbing the stairs, fidgeting.
Highly active people can burn up to 3x more energy in a day than sedentary people. Which I think hasn’t been helping by the fact that we now have things like Alexa, Deliveroo, Cars, Sedentary Jobs, Labour-Saving Devices.
But what if go to the gym 4 times a week! That’s pretty NEAT right?
Sure is! But if we break that down you’re in the gym around 3-4% of your week. So how can we improve your NEAT throughout the week?
- Taking the stairs where possible
- Parking in the furthest car parking space from the shops
- Standing on public transport (don’t have a choice on some trains…!)
- Take calls standing up or walking around the office/home
- Going upstairs in the office to go to the loo
- Getting off the tube one stop early
- Taking a midday stroll
When considering the above, think about forming successful habits that are going to create long-term change to ensure that you hit your goals – for example, setting a step target on a fitness tracker or taking the stairs a certain number of times per day. Doing this everyday can have huge impacts on both your calories expended and also by changing your attitude to improve other areas of your life.
Think small changes, BIG results
You may think a few extra steps a day wouldn’t total much of a calorie burn, but studies have shown that people who are sedentary outside of the gym could burn up to 350 calories of energy expenditure more if they adopt the same NEAT activities of their active and therefore leaner counterparts.
So in conclusion, we shouldn’t rely solely on the gym as a main source of activity. Including some of the above activities along with your programme here at Hunt Fitness will not only boost your energy expenditure for the week, but could also have long term health benefits such as; improving your mental health and reducing risks of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
That’s Pretty NEAT right?