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Why Your NEAT Activity Is So Crucial For Getting In Shape

Why Your NEAT Activity Is So Crucial For Getting In Shape

Lose weight now without changing your diet or the amount of workouts you do. Read on to find out how! When we only concentrate on working out in the gym and nutrition, we miss the huge impact that just moving more can have on our weight loss goals! What we're doing in our daily lives also can have a huge bearing on our health, weight loss and mood.

We know that we burn calories from exercise. We even burn calories from eating, sleeping and breathing. But did you know that you can massively affect your weight loss and weight maintenance by increasing how many calories you can burn outside of the gym through NON-EXERCISE FORMS?

NEAT - which stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - is something we all do but some of us do a hell of a lot more of it. The people benefiting the most from this tend to be people in active jobs like personal trainers, cleaners and hospital workers: people whose work means they must be out and about and active. Working in an office-based job can mean sitting still and the calorie burn is minimal. Small changes can considerably increase your calorie burn and help you scorch through extra calories.

The more we do, the more of an impact it has on our calories burned. Say you work an office job, from 9-5, and make it to the gym twice a week. Perfect. Now imagine you didn’t need to go to the gym an extra day, you didn’t need to change your diet but could still lose weight. It sounds impossible, but you can. It's easier than you think. Here's how:

Increase the amount you move throughout the day.

  • Choose standing over sitting. Your heart rate will be higher and therefore you will burn more calories while also recruiting more muscles.
  • Take the stairs instead of jumping in the lift
  • Walk on your break, get outside and get fresh air
  • Walk to the water fountain further from your desk
  • Move your bin away from your desk so you need to move away from your desk regularly
  • Every small change that gets you up out of your seat counts

It all adds up! There are lots of daily activities that can maximise your NEAT expenditure, such as:

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  • Walk the dog
  • House work
  • Cycling, walking to work
  • Garden projects- swapping the ride-on lawn mower for a push-along mower can make a huge difference.

Sedentary lifestyles are impacting our health in a very negative way. Some experts consider sitting to be the new smoking. We honestly don’t move as much as we used to years ago. As we have transitioned to a technology economy, our bodies have changed. We think that working out is enough and that’s just wrong. No amount of exercise can make up for sitting around all day at a desk without activity - the 500 calories you'll burn in a workout won't count for much if you spend the next day glued to your desk. We need to lead active, healthy lives and the key is maximising our movement during the 9-to-5 working day.

Speaking from my own experience, last week I burned 2,700 calories on one day just by walking the dog on the beach and doing housework along with walking around West Wood Club checking all the areas during my working day. Earlier on that week, I had a day's training that involved sitting all day long and I burned 1,900 calories. It's all because I wasn't moving. That's an 800 calorie difference!

Little things can make a big difference. So get active during the working day to as well as the evenings! For more advice on how you can make the most out of your working day visit West Wood Club on a free complementary membership. Click the link to register your interest.

SEE ALSO: How To Make A Fitness Plan That Will Get You In Shape

SEE ALSO: Abs Are Made In The Kitchen: How Good Nutrition Can Lead To Getting Into Great Shape

Vickey Nolan is a Personal Trainer, General Manager, and Fitness Director at West Wood Club, Dun Laoghaire. She has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Health Promotion and Physical Activity and has been working in senior roles in the fitness and wellness industry for over 15 years. Follow Vickey on Instagram and follow West Wood Club on Instagram.

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Vickey Nolan

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