Isn’t That N.E.A.T.??? Yes, It Really Is!
Many of you are aware that I developed the NOGA® Wheel of Wellbeing (W.O.W.) for Life Satisfaction™ to help people find a fulfilling and balanced life with various forms of positive activities to include in one’s daily life. (CLICK HERE to see the W.O.W.) If you click around, you will see eight areas of wellness. When I asked my very able social media assistant, Oriel, which area (wedge) of the W.O.W. (CLICK HERE for NOGA Wellness Solutions) has the fewest entries (that is, based on my posts), she answered, “Movement Solutions.” Oooops! That sure makes (Freudian) sense. While I am very excited and motivated to do all sorts of good deeds (especially for others), I am less inclined to exercise than possibly any other self-caring activity in the arsenal. However, because of that predisposition, I have tried to hack some movement into my day-to-day life. It’s hard, since my work involves speaking to people at a desk or table, daily. There simply are not many opportunities for movement. Additionally, in the past few months, Buffalo has not been the paragon of pleasant outdoor weather. Going for fresh frozen air isn’t quite enjoyable. However, as the days get longer and Spring springs up, I hope to be able to take my bike out for regular rides.
Meanwhile, I have needed to hack movement into my daily calendar. One hack came in the form of a slight change in my schedule by putting additional “buffer” time between some clients so I can walk around or do household chores, making sure I get up. “I like to move it, move it!” These kinds of activities, while not really called “exercise,” are in fact movement that is not only calorie burning, but helps us stay stronger, more limber and flexible.
Several articles ago, we discussed the concept of N.E.A.T. I think it really is neat too! (CLICK HERE to read it)
Since the average American is more sedentary than is recommended, how can we suggest hacking movement and exercise into the life of the person less inclined to exercising? N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) may be a model for such people. You may recall that N.E.A.T. refers to the energy expended during any physical activity that is not considered exercise or formal training. NEAT may include walking to work, in a mall, or doing household activities. These activities can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall energy expenditure and incorporating more N.E.A.T. into one’s daily routine can be an effective way to increase physical activity and improve health.
Here are some N.E.A.T. hacks for your daily routine:
Stand up and move around at least hourly. (My therapeutic “hour” is technically 50 minutes to create “buffer time” between appointments for stretching, movement or other self-care.) They say that “sitting is the new smoking.” Research shows that prolonged sitting is associated with negative health outcomes, including obesity and cardiovascular disease. Taking a quick break every hour to stand up and move around can help reduce the negative impact of long periods of sitting.
If possible, take the stairs versus taking the elevator or escalator. Climbing stairs can be an effective way to increase physical activity and improve cardiovascular health. Even going downstairs is better than using the elevator since you get to take more “steps.” Sometimes, we set things onto the stairs to take them up in bundles. I decided, if I’m able to do so, I don’t set them there, but take them up right away. Then I get a few more “reps of steps!”
If possible, consider walking or biking to work instead of driving or taking public transportation. This can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine and improve your overall health. If you do drive, you can park a little further away so you can walk even a bit more. It’s really NEAT! 😊
Cleaning, cooking, gardening, and other household chores can be a great way to incorporate more physical activity into your day. Activities such as vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing can be particularly effective at increasing energy expenditure. (Think how “helpful” Passover preparation is in this respect . 😊)
Set alarms to take quick breaks every hour or so. Stretch, walk around, or do a quick movement routine. Even a few minutes of physical activity can help improve your health and increase energy expenditure.
We love hearing from you, please feel free to leave your comments below.