How “NEAT” are you?

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

Joyce Kavaras, RD, LD

January 25th, 2013

I find the concept of NEAT – non-exercise activity thermogenesis – to be, nothing short of neat! The fact that I can add significantly to my daily calorie burn just by moving a little bit more here and there throughout the day is pretty cool, not to mention fun! Yes, it really can be fun! Why? Because it challenges me to think more creatively and do things differently rather than following the same old dull routine.

UH OptiWeight participants learned all about NEAT and are challenged to add more of it to their daily routine. Using a pedometer or accelerometer is an easy way to do just that! All versions of this simple little gadget track your steps and distance traveled, making you more aware of how much you move during the day. AWARENESS is BIG when it comes to weight management as we all came to find out once we started logging our food intake on My Fitness Pal! Now just add the activity awareness component and watch those steps increase, pounds come off and clothes fit better. Your pedometer or accelerometer will be your new workout “buddy,” motivating you to take the stairs rather than the elevator or parking just a bit farther from the store or your workplace. Start small and work up – wherever you are is the place to begin! Eventually, achieving 10,000 steps a day is the goal.

Now if my enthusiasm isn’t enough to fuel your fire, how about some good solid research? Recent studies have concluded that wearing a pedometer and setting specific goals for increasing steps leads to walking about 2,000 MORE STEPS – that’s one extra mile a day – this amounts to a 27 percent increase in daily physical activity. Not bad for a device that’s a cinch to wear and use!

Now envision the “feel good” benefits you’ll be reaping over the course of one year!

Review your UH OptiWeight slides from week two and decide which tracking device will best meet your needs and budget. Then journey with your coworkers to burn more calories, feel better, increase your calorie-burning lean tissue and improve health – that’s what I call a NEAT idea.

Here are some easy, additional ways to add NEAT to your work day! Have fun and share your new adventures with your UH OptiWeight group.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here.

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