Neat is an acronym for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and includes all activities that are outside your training and cardio regime.
This includes everything from your heart beats, blinking with your eyes, fidgeting with your hair, singing in the shower, how energetic you are in general and all other subconscious activities you do throughout the day.
When it comes to your energy expenditure (remember the law of energy balance and the energy in vs energy out equation), your NEAT make up a big portion of your total daily expenditure. So it is a very important aspect to address when you want improve your body composition as it can make all the difference. Being too sedentary is also not great for circulation and your body can become a bit sluggish from all the sitting.
We include your walking into the NEAT category, and while we can’t measure your subconscious activities very well, we can track your steps.
You can either invest in a FitBit, Apple Watch or use the Health App on your phone. Some devices will be more accurate than others, but as long as you are being consistent in how you measure your data it matters less whether you get the exact steps in or are slightly off.
A good target to hit is 10,000 steps per day. But if you get more in, that’s of course increasing your NEAT and therefore your energy expenditure for the day.
If you are struggling to hit the 10,000 steps recommended, you can try to implement some of these things into your day and you’ll see that your step count will come right up
When at home
- Start your day with 5-10 minute body weight circuit.
- Go for a walk or pace around while calling family and friends.
- Go for a walk before or after dinner.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Get off public transport a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Park your car further away from your destination and walk the rest.
When at work
- Set reminders to break up long bouts of sitting with standing or pacing around.
- Take phone calls standing or pacing around.
- Go for a walk on your lunch break.
Just for fun
- Set targets for yourself and your friends and make it into a supportive competition.
- Make your socialising more active – eg. bowling or mini golf
- Plan your leisure time around loads of walking.