4 reasons to add this NEAT trick to your routine

There's more places to exercise than just the gym. You can lose weight and control your blood sugar levels by moving in your everyday activities. It even has a name: non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT. Here's four reasons why:

4 reasons to add this NEAT trick to your routine

1. NEAT burns calories

  • Thermogenesis means calorie burning, so NEAT is a term for the energy you expend when you're going about your daily life. For instance, when you fold laundry or do chores around the house or garden.
  • You might think that these calories don't count for much, but NEAT is critically important.

2. It can be better than the gym

  • NEAT has the potential to add up to many more calories than during a half-hour at the gym.
  • 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill would burn about 150 calories. By comparison, the NEAT part of your daily burn can be five times higher than your gym efforts or more.
  • In studies of obese and normal-weight people, researchers have found that lean people burn as many as 2,000 NEAT calories more a day than those who are overweight.

3. NEAT can help lower your blood sugar

  • If, at the end of the evening, you're tired because your day was filled with lots of activity and movement, then you're living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Feeling tired from activity at the end of the day can actually help lower your blood sugar.
  • If you're tired at the end of the evening because you spent the day sitting, you need to get up and move. Such exhaustion is actually dangerous.

4. NEAT can complement your exercise routine

  • Active living and daily fitness walks are the foundation of a fit lifestyle. You'll do great good for your health if you achieve this level of activity.
  • The next levels, which include more rigorous aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening and stretching, are great, too.
  • But the first steps, and arguably the most important, are to live actively and take frequent, vigorous walks.

Active daily living means being on your feet and moving. It's taking the stairs. Parking in the farthest reaches of the parking lot and walking. Cleaning a closet rather than watching television. All of these activities help your body stay moving, and can contribute to your overall health.

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