We all know that if you want to lose weight you need to burn off more calories than you take in. Well that’s a very simplified way of looking at it, but in general this is what needs to happen in order to burn body fat.
What complicates matters is that we all digest foods a little differently and how many calories we burn through out the day is also very individual.
There are 3 ways that we burn calories:
Today I want to discuss the third way we burn calories. When it comes to Thermic effect of physical activity, there are two different types of activity: planned exercise and the spontaneous non-exercise activities that occur every time you perform some sort of physical exertion, whether it’s simply standing up, or throwing a load of laundry in the wash. This is referred to as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT which plays an important role in how many calories you burn throughout the day as well as maintaining a healthy body.
By now you’ve probably heard how bad sitting is for you. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity among other things. If you’d like to learn more about this check out my article The Dangers of Sitting
If you are trying to lose weight, I’m wiling to bet that you are watching what you eat and working out regularly well at least I hope you are. I’m also willing to bet that you’re not that active in between your workouts. Maybe you even sit most of the day. Am I right?
This lack of mobility, even if you workout, could be the very reason why you’re not successful with your weight loss efforts. Not only does N.E.A.T burn up a lot of calories through out the day, there are other things going on in your body that have a direct effect on whether or not you’ll burn fat.
Conversely NEAT or moving consistently throughout the day can help sustain LPL levels and help your body maintain its ability to burn fat.
Now that you know all of this, what can you do to get yourself up and moving? Before you say you don’t have time remember, your health depends on it. Many women tell me they don’t have time to get up every hour just to march in place. I get you, you have work to do and if you start getting up every hour, you’ll never get anything done.
Well, the opposite is actually true. The more you move about the clearer your thinking and the more focused you’ll be. This saves an enormous amount of time since you’ll be able to get things done quicker than you did before.
Make a conscious effort to find ways to move throughout the day. Before you know it you’ll be feeling lighter, and moving with ease as your joints and muscles start to loosen up.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I’m sure you can come up with a lot more ideas and if you get a friend to join you, even better! It’s always easier to stick with a new habit when you have a buddy to join you and you’ll be more apt to be consistent.
In the comments below share your ideas to get yourself moving.
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Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.