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Do you want to live longer better without hours spent in the gym and grueling workouts? If so, then get ready for this NEAT hack that will reveal a powerful form of simple and fun movements that can add years to your life and lie to your years.
Recent research has shed light on an often overlooked aspect of energy expenditure known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This type of exercise can help you burn up to 2,000 calories a day! (1)
NEAT encompasses the calories burned through daily activities that are not classified as formal exercise. This article explores the findings of a study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry, which highlights the impact of NEAT on all-cause mortality and its potential for promoting longevity.
Understanding Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT):
NEAT represents the energy expended in activities such as fidgeting, standing, walking, and other forms of non-exercise movements. Unlike planned physical exercise, NEAT is the spontaneous, low-intensity physical activity that we engage in throughout the day. It includes activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing instead of sitting, or even simple actions like tapping our feet or drumming our fingers. While each of these activities may seem inconsequential on its own, their cumulative impact on energy expenditure and overall health should not be underestimated.
NEAT vs EAT
To put the power of our daily micro NEAT movements into perspective, consider the opposite EAT (exercise activities of thermogenesis). EAT is our purposeful activity to break a sweat, burn calories or “workout”. Out of a 24-hour day, the average person is only engaging in this type of moment 30-60 minutes. That leaves 23 hours of opportunity for your body to be metabolically active. So how can this support enhanced health and longevity?
NEAT and Its Influence on Mortality:
The study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry aimed to examine the relationship between NEAT and all-cause mortality. The research involved a large-scale analysis of data from multiple studies and demonstrated a significant association between higher levels of NEAT and reduced risk of premature death. Participants with higher NEAT levels had lower mortality rates, independent of their engagement in structured exercise. This finding suggests that NEAT may play a vital role in promoting longevity and mitigating the adverse effects of sedentary behavior. Simple moments are the key to your life and health extension.
Mechanisms Behind NEAT’s Health Benefits:
Several mechanisms explain how NEAT positively influences overall health and mortality. NEAT contributes to an increase in daily energy expenditure, which can help maintain energy balance and prevent weight gain. As obesity is a significant risk factor for many chronic diseases, NEAT’s role in weight management is crucial for reducing the incidence of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
NEAT movement also impacts various physiological processes in the body. Studies have shown they influence insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, and lipid profiles, all of which play important roles in maintaining optimal health. And they have also been associated with improvements in cardiovascular health, including reduced blood pressure and improved arterial function.
Promoting NEAT in Daily Life:
Given the potential benefits of NEAT, finding ways to incorporate more non-exercise activity into our daily routines becomes essential. Here are some practical suggestions to increase NEAT: (1)
- Active transportation: Opt for walking or cycling whenever possible instead of relying solely on motorized transportation.
- Standing breaks: Take regular breaks from sitting, especially if you have a sedentary job. In fact, you burn an extra 24-80 calories per hour, just by standing.
- Change Your Posture: Simply by adjusting your posture from rounded to upright you will improve blood flow and oxygen utilization to the tissues. And research has found better posture impacts how you think and feel.
- Stand up, stretch, and move around for a few minutes every hour.
- Get Cleaning: If you ever needed a reason to clean and do household chores, here is your motivation. From doing the dishes and folding laundry to vacuuming and gardening, each of these activities provide an opportunity to increase NEAT levels while getting things done around the house. This is a double win for all of you multi-taskers out there!
- Desk exercises: Incorporate simple exercises like leg raises, cycling desk, walking desk, foot rolls, shoulder rolls, or stretching into your work routine to break up prolonged sitting.
- Get Heart Healthy! Take the stairs instead of the elevators and escalators whenever possible. Park further away for more opportunities to walk and notice the many invitations throughout your day to move.
Take your pick, find as many ways to move through your day, and enjoy just how NEAT it is to live longer better.
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