So what are you doing right now? As you read this? Are you sitting? Curled up scrolling your feed? I get it. I like nothing more than a good NETFLIX series binge, but the CDC tells us chronic disease is now the #1 threat to public health and prolonged sitting is the #1 contributor to chronic diseases. 

We know that engaging in regular exercise, such as the FASTer Way 30 minute workouts, has impressive health benefits. But regular exercise alone may not be enough to prevent diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes & cancer, or even see the body composition changes you’re hoping for. Research indicates that lack of activity in the 23.5 other hours of the day matters more for the prevention & treatment of chronic conditions.

 Now, I’m not asking you to double up on your formal exercise. I am simply referring to movement throughout the day outside of your programmed workout. 

 This type of movement is called: 

 NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. 

NEAT was coined by obesity expert Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic. It is the energy expended for all movement outside of sleeping, eating, or formal exercise. Activities include walking, climbing starts at work, singing, laughing, fidgeting, and standing.

Engaging in more movement outside of formal exercise has numerous benefits. It will not only increase your total daily calorie expenditure, which can lead to fat loss. It will significantly reduce your risk of adverse health outcomes associated with being sedentary.

The good news is that you don’t have to make massive changes to see an improvement. A simple way to make sure you are increasing your NEAT is to make sure you are getting up every hour.

What happens when you get up and move every hour? 


•            21% Reduction in the danger for Breast Cancer

•            25% Reduction in the threat for Colon Cancer

•            27% Reduction in the danger for Stroke

•            3-% Reduction in the threat for Type 2 Diabetes

•            50% Reduction in the danger for Hypertension 


Other ideas for increasing NEAT:


•            Consider getting a sit-to-stand desk or standing desk attachment.

•            Walk or bike to your favorite places? If not, can you park further away?

•            Plan to walk after meals. This is an excellent habit trigger and will also help with digestion. 

•            Pace around while you talk on the phone.

•            Drink more water – you’ll be headed to the bathroom more! 

Formal exercise & non-exercise (NEAT) make up a large portion of daily energy expenditure. While traditional exercise is physiologically taxing on the body, NEAT is not. I don’t advise you to exercise more than what is recommended in the FWTFL schedule, but you can always add non-exercise activity to move more. This can be a powerful tool in maximizing your results.

In Dr. Levine’s study, participants who increased NEAT didn’t put on fat, even when given extra calories. Others who did not increase NEAT did gain fat! So get moving outside of your formal exercise routine, ESPECIALLY if you have a sedentary lifestyle or experience a plateau.

Another pro tip: If you want to track your movement, a minimum of 10K steps is recommended. If you live a very sedentary lifestyle, start small with 4K steps and work your way up. Any increase will be beneficial.

My favorite tracker is my Apple Watch. Be sure to tag me on Instagram with a screenshot of you hitting your 10K steps. I’d love to cheer you on to a healthier lifestyle! 

Ready to increase your NEAT and need a way to keep track of your progress? Download my habit tracker, and you’ll see your NEAT increase in no time!



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