This movement that can be more important than exercise in weight management.. NEAT!
We know that weight management and being in a calorie deficit or surplus is a careful balance between energy in (food consumption) and energy out.
Naturally, it is common to assume that ‘energy out’ means exercise. You’re not wrong, but intentional exercise I.e going for a run, weight training at the gym, swimming, cycling etc. is actually a small part of what makes up your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). In fact, for most people, intentional exercise only makes up about 10% of their TDEE.
So, what ‘movement’ is responsible for a greater quotient of your TDEE…
Activities of daily living!
General, non-exercise specific activities like being on your feet at work, gardening, cleaning the house and running errands actually make up 15-20% of the average person’s TDEE via non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
Putting this into context, a general workout of 30 minutes may burn 300 calories. But a daily routine of non-exercise activities can easily burn double that, especially if you’re on your feet at work all day or chasing after kids.
Now, looking ahead at your weight management, this is where I will always encourage my clients to incorporate small active movements across their day, because it is such a powerful and useful tool.
Some great examples include:
– Parking further away from shops/work to walk more
– Stretching while watching TV
– Walking after your workout to cool down
– Walk on your lunch break or after dinner
– Set a timer to stand up and walk around at work
– Take the stairs instead of the lift
– Choose to run your errands on foot when possible
Now, time to get off your screen and maximise your NEAT!