(This is a post from Frankie, the office dog)
Have you seen the recent fitness news about NEAT? NEAT has nothing to do with wiping your paws, or keeping your biscuits in your bowl.
Apparently it’s about WALKING!
(Editor: well, no, it’s not just about walking…)
Today I wanted to talk to you about why walking is such an underrated form of exercise. And how you can improve your NEAT by doing more of it!
See the world from my point of view: here a video of me going for a walk with a GoPro on my harness!
(Sorry about the head shaking, it was raining)
Check out 01:45 where I do some Crufts-style agility!
(Editor: I’m so pleased there’s a video on YouTube of me in my men’s shorts from Wickes…!)
First up, some facts. I’ll try not to make them too boring (I can’t concentrate for long).
(This info is for humans, although I can’t imagine it’s too different for dogs)
There are 3 things which make up how much energy we use:
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) or Resting Energy Expenditure (REE).
This is how much energy you expend just lying about, breathing and stuff. Most of your RMR is actually from your internal organs, would you believe it! RMR makes up 50-75% off your daily calorie burn.
Activity (including NEAT)
Now this is obviously your exercise sessions, like when Nic goes to the gym. BUT it also includes all the activity and movement you do when you’re NOT at the gym. And this is where NEAT comes into it. More about that in a sec…
Thermic Effect of Feeding/Food (TEF).
This is how many calories you need to digest your food. It’s not much though, so don’t get too excited.
NEAT is “non exercise activity thermogenesis” (full disclosure, I had to get Nic to type that for me).
It’s ANYTHING you do which isn’t considered actual exercise. So not your gym sessions, or your cardio. But any other movement, activity, or stuff which moves your body!
Isn’t that cool? A massive percentage of your calorie burn for the day comes from just moving about and being active. And it’s completely within your power to increase it! Which is great, because not everyone wants to (or has time to) keep on increasing their actual workout sessions. But increasing NEAT is easier, more sustainable, and more fun!
Here are my favourite ways to increase my NEAT:
– go for an extra walk (often around the field at lunch time)
– increase my morning or evening walk (just take a different route, or often we will use my walk to post a letter or something)
– go up a hill on my walk (totally makes me huff and puff!)
– do some faster stuff as part of my walk (ball, stick, squeaky ball, ball-on-a-rope)
– spend more of the day outside (pottering around the garden rather than lying in my bed, or being at someone else’s house and having a sniff about)
How about you?
Here are some great ways for humans to increase their NEAT.
– use a standing desk
– get up more often when sitting at your desk
– walk or bike ride some of your regular commute
– walk more around town to do errands, see friends, post a letter etc
– be more active at home (DIY, decluttering, Spring cleaning)
– do stuff in your garden (even 10-15 minutes every evening would be good)
– wash your car
– do chores by hand rather than automating them
– use a basket rather than a trolley in the supermarket
I’m sure you can think of tons more but you get the idea!
The fab thing about NEAT is that is makes up BY FAR the biggest % of your calorie burn (well, the bits you can influence anyway – there’s not a lot you can do about how much energy your internal organs need). And there’s so much you can do to affect it!
Personally I think the best thing for NEAT is to get a dog haha woof!
Till next time….
Frankie (aka thefitdog) xx
PS Do you have a dog? What’s his/her name? How much walking do you do?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.