The human body is a wondrous machine. Hundreds of operations, processes, and productions are happening every second of every day. With no effort, we are burning calories. Yes, digestion requires calories. Stirring a pot burns more calories. We can use up a sizable number of calories at the end of each day with a bit of work. This happens with non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).

NEAT is not a new concept but an increasingly popular way to think about exercise. Many people find it difficult to work in the 150 minutes of moderate activity doctors recommend we get each week. However, with NEAT, you can sneak activity into your lives without planning or sweating.

Basic body functions consume about 60% of our daily caloric intake. The remaining fuel is either burned by movement or turned into fat. Many people work out to use up calories. Unfortunately, professional and personal obligations can get in the way of exercise. When that happens, NEAT can help.

Activities like taking the stairs, making dinner, walking to the store, and washing dishes by hand burn calories but don’t require special equipment or clothing, scheduled time, money, or effort. Plus, no-sweat movements like these actually improve cardiovascular health.

Thinking about how to get more movement in your life? Don’t just sit there. Fidget!

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