You don’t just burn calories when you get planned exercise. Walking to your car, taking the stairs at work, sweeping your floors — they all burn calories! This kind of lifestyle activity is what fitness experts call NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
While each burst of NEAT activity may not burn a huge number of calories, all that activity spread throughout the day can burn more calories than running for half an hour on the treadmill. Pretty “neat,” huh?
And these easy activities don’t just burn calories — they also help maintain your body’s natural rhythm and promote health benefits, including a boosted metabolism, reduced blood pressure, and more energy.
Get More Steps With NEAT
Need some NEAT ideas? Try these mindless calorie-burning activities throughout your day. Try out different routines to keep them fresh and fun!
- Pace around your bedroom or bathroom while you brush your teeth.
- When waiting for coffee or tea to brew, start pacing, do a few jumping jacks, or just march in place.
- Make multiple trips when carrying groceries into the house rather than trying to carry it all at once. Take pride in the bonus calorie-burning!
- Challenge yourself. Seek out stairs rather than escalators or elevators.
- When you do need to take the elevator, try getting off one floor early and walking the rest of the way.
- At work, use a restroom that’s slightly farther away than the closest one. Over the course of a day, you’ll add up a lot more steps.
- Whenever possible, schedule “walking meetings” at work to keep your heart rate up while your creative juices are flowing.
- When taking public transportation, get out one stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.
- Park farther away when shopping or running errands. If stores are fairly close, walk from store to store.
- When on the phone, pace around your home or office, or walk outside.
- If you have children in different activities, walk around while they’re at practice. You might as well make the most of the wait time!
- Track your steps. Each day, strive to meet a specific goal. After you regularly meet that daily step goal, set a slightly higher goal.