When we think of exercise we often naturally think of the gym. It makes sense to do that….the gym is where people go for exercise. The gym is designed for people to go and exercise there.
That’s all well and good but is it possible to do do exercise outside of the gym?
Well of course it is…we can exercise at home, in the park, maybe even in the office. We just need to put aside a bit of time, change into our workout gear, decide on the exercises and do it!
Sure that sounds easy enough, but in reality it can be hard to get it done sometimes. Exercise is tough. The very nature of exercise means we are exerting our bodies to levels of discomfort. It’s not always a desirable thing to do.
But in order to achieve our fitness goals, whether it’s fat loss, better cardio, better mobility etc, we need to to exercise.
I often get asked if there’s anything that we can be doing outside of exercise that can help achieve these goals..
The answer is a huge YES!!!
You may have seen from my fat loss video series I talk about NEAT (Non exercise activity thermogenesis) It sounds a little complicated but it really isn’t. NEAT is simply the everyday movement that we do outside of deliberate exercise. Things like getting out of bed, walking up and down the stairs, walking to the bus stop, getting up from our chairs, walking to get lunch etc etc etc. You get the idea.
Lots of people think that unless we’re in the gym breaking a sweat then we’re not “exercising” but that’s not the case. Our everyday movement plays a crucial part in our overall mobility and weight management.
As we have evolved our lifestyles have become a lot easier. Think about it, our early ancestors didn’t have cars, buses, tubes, hoverboards or anything like that to help us get around. They had to hunt for food and water. Survival required a lot of effort and physical demand.
In today’s society, we get up, walk to the car, drive to work, sit at a desk 8 hours a day, drive home, sit and watch the latest Netflix series and go to bed. Not a whole lot of movement going on there. Our life styles have become so sedentary and it’s helped to create a worldwide pandemic of obesity and I don’t say that lightly. Obesity statistics are frightening!!!
I have clients who are baffled that they aren’t losing weight despite going to the gym 3-5 times a week. I have to explain that 1 hour in the gym equates to 4% of the day and you’d be lucky to burn 400 kcals in 1 session. Out of 168 hours in the week they are exercising for 4-5 of them. Not a great deal when you put it like that is it! 3 or 4 gym sessions won’t necessarily result in weight loss if your calorie consumption is too high
So you can begin to see the importance of our everyday movement. It counts for A LOT MORE than you might think.
NEAT in relation to weight loss
If your goal is fat loss then NEAT is even more important. Your increased NEAT can easily be the difference between weight loss and weight gain. Whether we lose, maintain or gain weight ultimately comes down to our calorie consumption and the margins are pretty tight.
Lets pretend I burn around 2000 kcals a day. by eating 1800 kcals I’m in a kcal deficit which will result in weight loss and by eating 2200 I’m in a kcal surplus which will result in weight gain. That’s only 400 kcal difference. Your increased NEAT can account for around 1000 extra kcals burnt every day. BOOOOOM….there’s your calorie deficit AND you ate that extra biscuit as well!!!
Think about how you can move around more in your everyday lives and start doing it!!!
-Always be walking around if you’re on your mobile phone
-park a little further away than normal to get those extra steps in
-Get off at the bus stop before you normal one.
-Walk to work 2 days a week
-Walk up and down the escalators at tube stations (I hate that everyone stands on them like lemmings)
-Walk around the garden 5 times every evening
-Walk to your local store to get the milk
-Take the stairs at work and not the lift
Start increasing your everyday movement from TODAY and live a healthier more active lifestyle!!!!