Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) refers to the energy expended during various day-to-day physical activities that occur in an unstructured manner (not intentional exercise). This includes activities like walking to work, walking to the car, household chores, moving from sitting to lying positions, and other routine movements throughout the day.

Those activities increase our daily calorie expenditure. Our NEAT can add an extra 200-400 daily calorie burn (depending on the activity level), independent of the calories burned through respiration, digestion, or intentional physical exercise like Pilates, strength training, or running.

During more active periods, we burn more calories at rest. The more sedentary our lifestyle, the fewer calories we burn, meaning our NEAT becomes lower. Our daily NEAT is more significant than intentional exercise. Someone who walks a lot during the day but doesn’t engage in intentional exercise expends more energy than someone who regularly exercises three times a week but lives a sedentary life.

This doesn’t mean avoiding intentional exercise. Far from it! It’s about combining both. It’s not recommended to exercise for 50 minutes a day and sit the rest of the time.

How can we increase our daily NEAT? By changing our daily habits!

– Use a step counter on your phone or watch: Try to reach no less than 8000 steps a day. I recommend aiming for 10,000 steps a day. But, of course, steps have a separate post! Those who know me know how much I love walking.
– Walk to work.
– Park the car further away.
– Take the elevator instead of the stairs when possible.
– Move around the gym between sets instead of sitting.
– Try to walk as much as possible during work.

You can start with one small change and gradually see the benefits of being active. It’ll pay off in the future.

So… let’s start increasing our daily NEAT and taking care of our health!

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