What is N.E.A.T?
Over the past few years, researchers have begun investigating the time we spent awake or at work which is approximately 110 – 115 hours per week, as a weight loss solution, rather than the few hours a week spent trying to exercise. The results are impressive as they provide so many opportunities to achieve effective and sustained weight loss without complicating our lives, finding more time to exercise, doing things we may despise, or even exceeding our own comfort levels or abilities.
We call these expended calories N.E.A.T (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) or NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) and it is the energy expended for everything we do in our daily lives that does not include sleeping, eating, or exercise; and ranges from simple things like standing and fidgeting to moving about.
Even breathing can help towards burning fat. When you breathe deeply, and slowly, you will work your diaphragm. It takes years to master breathing techniques, but it’s never too late to start. Most of us breath in only 1/5th of the oxygen we need. According to Pranayama Yoga practitioner, breathing master and author of ‘The Art of Breathing’ – Dominique Lonchant, “Most of the time we breathe too superficially and insufficiently. Of all the organs, the brain needs the most of oxygen,”. He believes that many illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes occur because of a lack of oxygen!
Engaging your core is another way. But first, let’s start by defining what “the core” really means because it means differently to different people. Usually it refers to the muscles that surround your midsection. It is from the top of our pelvic bone to the top of our tummy and it’s all the way around to our lower back. It’s basically our trunk area. In this instance, we refer specifically to the abdominal muscles located in the front of your body, or the tummy area. To be more specific, the core needs to be strong, flexible, and coordinated to help us in our every action including running.
The core helps us flex, extend, side bend, and rotate our trunk in all directions, as well as keep the trunk stable. Along with the hips and low back, the abdominal muscles keep us strong in our centre, so that we can use our arms and legs powerfully and without hurting our spine.
When sitting, standing or walking, it’s important to be aware of your core area and to strengthen it because it’s the core that holds your poise.
It’s great to aware that non-exercise activity thermogenesis (N.E.A.T) can contribute towards your fitness regime. Well, it’s a good start anyway:)
References: 1. Levine, James. “Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): environment and biology.” American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. no. E675-E685 (2004). 10.1152/ajpendo.00562.2003 (accessed December 15, 2013).