I WEAR A PEDOMETER EVERY DAY TO SEE HOW MUCH I HAVE MOVED AND IT TELLS ME WHEN I HAVE REACHED MY GOAL. I GO FOR AT LEAST TWO AND A HALF MILES A DAY JUST DOING EVERYDAY THINGS. WORKS FOR ME.
"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis
“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen
NEAT: How Everyday Movement Keeps You Slim by Mike Howard
In the ongoing science of weight regulation, one buzz-term that has garnered some recent attention is a phenomenon called "NEAT" (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). In plain English, this is the energy expended in everything we do that doesn't involve eating, sleeping and sport-related activity. This may include walking to work, typing, fidgeting, talking or performing other daily tasks such as shopping or yard work.
James Levine heads up the NEAT lab at the Mayo clinic in Minnesota. The link to this article is found at the bottom of this post. Keep moving because it really pays off!
Here are some highlights of an interview he did in the April 2008 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
* In a study, sedentary lean and overweight people were fitted with "magical" underwear which monitored every movement of the body. Subjects were fed 1000 calories above their weight maintenance levels. People who can activate their NEAT don't gain fat when overfed, while those who don't switch on their NEAT were gaining literally 10 times more fat! * Those who were obese moved 2Â½ hours less than lean people - which equates to about 350 fewer calories a day. * Ambulation movement seemed to be the difference maker - not so much pre-planned power walking, but just constantly taking opportunities to move. Note: most of the subjects had desk jobs. * There is no reason why people can't hold one-on-one meetings while walking, or cook with your kids, or choose activities on the weekend that aren't screen-related. * About 30% of a person's daily expenditure comes from NEAT. (The other portions are from basal metabolism and thermic effect of eating). Those who are active have higher percentages of NEAT. This is the factor we have control over. * NEAT burns more calories than exercise in most non-athletes. * Some people are naturally more active while others are slow-moving. Levine speculates that this may be an evolutionary response to famine. Searching for food beyond boundaries increases NEAT, while an alternative response may have been to stop moving to conserve fuel and body fat stores. * In the last 100 years, we have imposed a massive environmental kibosh to our ancient biology. 150 years ago, 90% of the world's population were agriculturists. * Levine suggests that offices, schools and other public places need to be more conducive to activity. Some ideas are walking workstations and walk-and-meet tracks, where carpet tape is laid down to map out a walking route.
Will this make a difference?
NEAT is certainly part of the solution to combat poor health and weight, however it will not likely be THE factor, given the abundance of unhealthy foods we put in our bodies. The real trick is getting those who need it the most to form the movement-oriented habits that will help them reverse course. I think we need to make an especially concerted effort to help our children adopt a movement-centered lifestyle.
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