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Ways to increase your NEAT without exercising 

Do you have fat in your stomach? If yes, it is a sign that you’re not living to your body’s full potential. In simple words, you have some unutilised energy that needs to be used. Just remember, your body is made for physical movement. If you do otherwise, i.e., lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are doing something wrong. And that something wrong can lead to fat in your abdomen and everywhere else in the body. 

So, what is it that you should do to burn fat? Well, we know the answer, a combination of a calorie deficit and an exercise routine. But what if you cannot exercise? Maybe you have some injury, are pregnant or you have never exercised in your lifetime (you should, it’s never too late to begin).

Whatever your reason is, in this case, you need something else to facilitate that calorie burn – something that can keep your metabolism up and burn extra calories throughout the day. This may help your weight loss and overall fitness goals even if you have an exercise routine. In a nutshell, both the categories, those who have a fitness routine and those who don’t can benefit from non-exercising activities. 

Much to the surprise of many, there are a plethora of ways you can burn calories without exercising. This blog will discuss some of the ways you can burn a significant amount of calories. So, let’s get started, shall we? 

But first, you should know about NEAT 

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, known as NEAT comprises activities that burn calories when not actively exercising. This process can account for a significant portion of your daily calorie burn over time. 

It can account for up to 15-30 % of your daily calorie expenditure, increasing your metabolic rate, and making non-exercising movements essential. However, it must be noted that NEAT cannot replace the health benefits of cardio or strength-training workouts. 

Ways to increase NEAT

Some of the activities that can increase your calorie expenditure include the following: 

  • Refrain from using the elevator, take the stairs. 
  • Try gardening. 
  • Clean your house frequently. Activities like sweeping and vacuuming can burn a significant amount of calories. 
  • Don’t take the easy way out. Refrain from ordering food, simply cook your own meal. It will keep you active and foster healthy eating habits. 
  • If you work a desk job, discover new ways to stay active. Consider taking phone calls while you walk. If you are a coffee addict, you can even pour yourself small cups of coffee, forcing you to move to take another. 
  • Consider washing your car on your own. You won’t only get a workout, but you will leave your car sparkling too.
  • Go vegetable shopping. If you do not have many heavy things to lift, consider lifting them by hand. You will be working out your muscles this way. 
  • Dance like nobody’s watching. 
  • Go bowling or cycling for 90 minutes.

Why NEAT matters? 

Unfortunately, we give so much importance to an hour of gym sessions that we underestimate the importance of NEAT when assessing energy expenditure.  We assume we burn significant calories exercising and do nothing the rest of the day, slowing metabolism. 

But truth be told, we burn fewer calories exercising than we believe. We may think we have burned around 500 calories lifting weights in an hour, but we would have only burned around 180 calories, less if we are leaner and shorter. Even your fitness trackers can be highly inaccurate when it comes to measuring calorie expenditure. You may burn 30-60% fewer calories than your fitness trackers calculate. 

However, the amount of calories you burn by staying as active as possible throughout the day will have a far greater impact on daily energy expenditure.

There are other benefits of NEAT you must consider: 

  • Helps with muscle recovery
  • Can help improve mental health
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Helps manage blood sugar
  • Reduces the risk of chronic disease
  • Lowers inflammation levels
  • It is an easier way to come back and recover from injury
  • Requires no skill and it is free

Closing thoughts

Can’t exercise or don’t wish to exercise? No worries. This blog offers a fun and easy approach to staying active throughout the day. These small tweaks to your routine can make a big impact on your overall health and energy levels. From dancing, while doing chores to taking the scenic route for a walk, there are plenty of enjoyable ways to boost your daily activity levels without hitting the gym. So why not shake things up a bit and make staying active a natural part of your day? Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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