You may have heard that people burn calories every second of the day. This is true. The simple act of existing and breathing in the physical form a process which requires energy which requires calories to provide that energy. When we go to the gym, more energy is expended. Many times, we rely simply on what we do in the gym to be our main calorie burner, but you can actually up the ante by doing some simple things outside of the gym or your workout to burn more calories in everyday life.
Before that is talked about in specifics, an acronym you should be familiar with is NEAT. NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This process is what was being talked about before in the bodies process of naturally burning calories where exercise was not involved. So, how many calories can your NEAT burn? It varies, but the number could be significant. According to one study, because everyone's activity level is so different, calories burned from NEAT can vary from person to person by up to 2,000 calories per day. So how do you take advantage of this calorie-burning benefit? Start with these small changes or get creative and try some of your own ideas.
- If you have a desk job, get up and move for at least 15 minutes every hour. Take a walk to the restroom, go to the water cooler, run an errand, take the stairs instead of the elevator or do your filing from a standing rather than seated position. Grab a few co-workers and make increasing your NEAT part of a healthy office routine. Many dieters lose weight at work with these simple but effective strategies.
- If you like to chill out on the couch in the evening and watch television, fold laundry, dust furniture or sweep the floor while you watch television. You can even do a full workout on your couch to burn up to 300 calories! Not only will the activity boost your caloric expenditure, but you will eat less in front of the television if your hands are busy. You can even burn calories during other leisure activities. If you like to talk on the phone, walk around during your chat instead of sitting down. And try to limit entertainment-related computer time to 15-minute intervals.
- Teaching your children to increase their daily activity may save them from weight gain in the future. And it will help you, too! If you want to slim down without exercise, find ways to increase your walking time during the day. Walk the kids to school or to the bus stop. If you drive them, choose a parking spot at the back of the lot and use those extra steps to chat with them about their day.