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We live in a world that thrives on instant gratification! This applies to our fitness too — we all want to burn calories, without performing intense workouts. But what if we tell you that this is possible? No kidding! NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis can make it work for you! But what is it? And how can one really incorporate it into their daily life?
Anshul Dhamande, a premium fitness coach at Fittr, reveals it all in a chat with HealthShots.
Most people who want to lose fat start focusing on exercise to burn calories, they fail to incorporate one very simple factor that can help to burn more calories than the workout itself.
“NEAT is the energy utilised in activities like walking, talking, fidgeting etc. It can contribute significantly to calorie expenditure. It may vary between two people of similar size, by as much as 2000 kcal/day, because of people’s different occupations and leisurely activities,” adds Dhamande.
Our lives have become largely sedentary during the pandemic. We sit before our screens almost all day, and barely spare time for breaks. Due to this, NEAT has gone down drastically.
“Most of our work is done sitting in one place, and the few steps we would earlier clock while going to the office has gone down. We are now moving from our bed to the desk, in our homes,” he explains.
Switching to a job that requires physical effort is a good idea (we are kidding), but we have simple and effective tips for you that can help you increase your NEAT.
“For audio calls that don’t require you to be in front of your screens, try to be on your feet. Even if it’s just a 10-minute call and you are pacing around, it could add up to 1000 steps. Say, if you have 4-5 such calls with your colleagues, friends or parents throughout the day, your 5000 steps are done without additional effort,” says Dhamande.
Using stairs instead of the lift, or parking your vehicle a little farther away are some other hacks you can include, which will hardly take an extra 5-10 minutes to do. They neither require a lot of physical effort nor a special designated time or place.
“Taking a 5-10 minute break every two hours to complete small chores like filling up your water bottle will not just help you stay active, but can also benefit your posture,” he adds.
Having a daily step target is an important way to keep you accountable. At times, we get so immersed in work that these things can easily be neglected. Keeping reminders on your phone and having a DOABLE step target for the day can help you stay on track.
“NEAT must be a crucial part of your lifestyle, and it’s important to try and be active in today’s sedentary world. Involving your friends and family, or running challenges and targets together can make this even more fun, whilst helping everyone get fit in the process,” concludes Dhamande.