What is NEAT and why is it important?

NEAT fitness tips
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NEAT is a very underutilized concept in this industry, so let’s chat about it.

NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. That’s just a fancy way of saying that it’s all the stuff you do that burn calories but aren’t structured exercise. Walking the dog, pacing on a conference call, cleaning the house, and dancing in the shower are all examples of NEAT.

It’s no surprise that moving more is beneficial, but let’s look at why.

If you workout for an hour a day, that only accounts for 4% of your entire day. The rest of your time awake makes up 63% of your day. That’s 63% of the time you have an opportunity to get some more movement in your life. It’s no wonder why your NEAT actually accounts for more caloric expenditure than exercise.

NEAT doesn’t need to be planned. You don’t need to purposely set aside an hour to take a walk every day. But take some breaks during the work day to walk around the office, or choose the stairs instead of the escalator at the airport. These seemingly small choices can really add up.

If you have an active job where you are on your feet all day, your NEAT is already going to be pretty high. But for a lot of us with desk jobs, it can be easy to go the entire day with very little movement, which is why it is so important to try to get some extra movement in.

The bulk of my NEAT is walking the dog every single day and getting those steps in, but anything you do that gets you moving will do the trick!

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