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A NEAT way to activate your body throughout the day

July 14, 2015

NEAT is non-exercise activity thermogenesis, a variety of low-impact movements that keep your metabolism humming and your blood circulation flowing – really just everyday activities, like a short walk, gardening or cooking.

Here’s how to include NEAT into your daily life:

Stand every time you take a phone call and if you have a cordless phone, pace up and down during the conversation.  Whenever you press ‘send’ on an email, use it as a prompt to get up and stretch.

  • If your boss will allow it, stand during meetings, or better yet, have a walking meeting.
  • There are a lot of gadgets available to make you move more at the office – sitting on a stability ball rather than a chair for part of the day keeps your muscles engaged, while a ‘standing desk’ allows you to do your desk job from a sitting or standing position.
  • Can’t sit on a ball at work? Try using it when you are at home, whether watching television, having dinner or doing your hair. Any time spent seated, you could be sitting on a stability ball.
  • When taking a bathroom break, walk to the loo on another floor instead of going to the one closest to your office.
  • Do you commute by bus or train? Stand while riding or get off a stop early and walk an extra couple of blocks home.
  • When you unwind in the evening, don’t just collapse on the couch in front of the TV.  You can still watch your programmes while clocking some distance on the exercise biker, or doing the ironing.
  • To find out how much you’re moving, get a pedometer. It will track your steps throughout the day and provide you with a visual reminder.  Motivate yourself to improve your tally every day and you’ll soon be moving more regularly.

(This is an extract from an article by Wilma Stassen, published in Issue 2, 2015 of the Jump Magazine)

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