NEAT stands for Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It consists of all the energy we expend during the day excluding exercising, eating and sleeping.
Activities like washing dishes, folding laundry, making beds, cleaning bathrooms, yard work, standing, even fidgeting. They are all part of the NEAT experience.
NEAT can be a great factor for those wanting to lose weight.
There are about 115 hours per week that we are not "exercising" or sleeping. NEAT provides many "opportunities to achieve effective and sustained weight loss without complicating our lives, trying to find more time to exercise, or pushing ourselves to uncomfortable levels or abilities" according to the National Association of Sports Medicine. Even more reason to make your bed every morning with vigor.
NEAT might also play a more important role in our longevity than traditional exercise.
What NEAT provides that exercise may not, is movements in a variety of directions. How many times per week do you train moving backwards or traversing or pivoting? Probably not that often. But we do this daily without even thinking about it. Moving in a variety of directions helps to strengthen our muscles around our joints making us less likely to get injured. Katy Bowan refers to this in her book, Move Your DNA, as "movement nutrition."
Call it what you want, but the whole idea of NEAT is to get you up from your seat and move more. Go clean your house, rake your leaves, walk to the store for bread or just tap your foot while waiting in line at the check out counter. Your body will thank you.
Daryn Jankovic is a personal
trainer for women in Raleigh,
NC. Her mission in life is to
help women feel their ultimate
best through movement.
She is the owner of MOVE Fitness for Her.