Another NEAT Article « Health Now, Wealth Forever

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By Marilyn, on July 13th, 2011

Last week, my post about NEAT* had me thinking about spontaneous activity. I was remembering as a teen, I was never very still. I did not participate in organized sports or do structured exercise, but I was not overweight. I loved to read and could easily finish a book in a couple of days. BUT even though I probably was a more sedentary than some of my friends, I was very thin.**

I was thinking about how I would have to move more because we did not have as many conveniences such as clothes dryers, dishwashers, computers or remotes. I had to hang the clothes on the line, wash and dry the dishes, find the phone book, flip through it to find information, walk to the library and check out the books, get up and change the channel on the TV.

Then I thought about our grandchildren.  Our older teen grandchildren are into computer and video games, reading, etc. which involve a lot of sitting.  Our younger grandchildren move — a lot.  One needs to be on the move all the time.  There is a difference in their weight (this is a generalization, but there is a point).  The more spontaneous activity can make a difference.

We have become much more sedentary.  Even though we have so many conveniences, we can add some NEAT to our days.  Some ideas to get you thinking:

  • While sitting at your computer, stand up often and stretch.  Add some arm movements, too.
  • Walk to your destination, take the stairs, walk and talk to your coworkers instead of emailing,
  • See if you can keep up with your active child or grandchild.
  • When shopping, walk a couple of circuits around the store before buying what you need.  Park way out there in the parking spaces that are empty to make you walk more.
  • Instead of being a super being, carry in the bags one at a time—make several trips back and forth—you will be walking more and if you are my age (senior), you might be saving yourself some from some pain caused by carrying too much.

We can help ourselves feel better by adding this spontaneous activity.

*NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)  James A. Levine, 2010 ©Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.  All rights reserved.

**This was before the USDA recommended eating less fat and more carbohydrates.

Some of the non-exercises were a rewording of ideas presented by:

Paige Waehner, Guide “ Exercise.  How To Incorporate Exercise Into Your Life”