Thursday, March 18

Little Activities, Big Difference

There’s so much more diet information I have for you, but I’m going to take a bit of a break to talk exercise. As we discussed in “Dispelling the Myths,” you can’t be healthy and lose weight without exercise.

But exercise doesn’t always have to mean an hour at the gym. Broaden your horizons and start looking at the opportunities to be active in your life!

Let’s talk about your NEAT, and I don’t mean how tidy you are. NEAT is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis which is just a very complicated way of talking about the calories you burn during the day that aren’t from exercise. These activities look like you dancing in the driver’s seat as you listen to a song, or shaking a leg while you sit in a meeting, or gesticulating wildly while telling a story. Any minor physical activity during your day contributes toward your NEAT, and NEAT could account for anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of your calories burned for the day (although, for your NEAT to account for 50 percent you’d probably need to be a ten-year-old with ADD)! If you’ve ever wondered how skinny people who don’t try to be skinny stay skinny, observe how fidgety they are.

Another small change that could have a big impact on your health is walking. You could do well for yourself to purchase a pedometer (they can be very inexpensive, just look at Target or Wal-Mart). Just throw that pedometer in your pocket and see how many steps you walk in a day. You might impress yourself when you see 2,000 or 3,000 steps, until I tell you that above 5,000 should be your normal and 10,000 steps is the magic number to help you lose weight. But it’s easier than you think! Walk the long way to the printer at work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the farthest parking spot at Costco (I guarantee you—if you park as far away as you can when you make a Costco trip—3,000 steps, minimum!). Simply increasing the steps you take in a day could make the difference of 100 to 300 calories burned!

Look for little ways to stay active in your day—it could make a big difference in the long run.


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