Can You Get Beach Fit With NEAT Exercise

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

Is there anyone not talking about the Horizon program ‘The Truth About Exercise’? It has taken me a few weeks longer than most to get on board, but thanks to the wonders of IPlayer I have finally got up to speed and have to say, not only has this program changed the way I look at exercise but has got me wondering, can we use what we learnt about NEAT on the program to actually get our beach ready bodies without even going near the gym?

If you are one of the minority that missed Michael Mosley challenging the very foundations of the entire keep fit industry in this country and across the globe, he has basically ascertained that it may be possible to acquire all the medical advantages of exercise in just a few full impact two minute sessions every week, rather than pounding at the gym for hours on end.

But what interested me more than these fantastic claims (which only claimed to have medical benefits and talked nothing of weight loss or toning) was the focus on the possibilities of NEAT to improve our health and increase our metabolism.

NEAT or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis to those in the know, is basically how much time we spend expending energy through not sitting down. For those of us that spend our lives chained to a desk, this program actually said that just spending less time sat down and changing our own lifestyle in very minute ways may actually be more beneficial to our health and our overall fitness than sitting down all day and then hitting the gym.

Simply by opting to take the stairs, walking instead of taking the car and walking that bit faster when we are on our feet can actually have the same benefit as paying a fortune to go to the gym.

So what can you do today to make sure that you are beach fit if you don’t have the time to go to the gym.

Firstly get up. The worst thing for your body is to be sat down, especially for long periods at a time. So make sure you get up regularly and if there is an exercise you can do stood up rather than sitting down, then do it. For those of us on the school run, when you arrive at school get out of your car and stand by the side of it. Ideally park down the road a little and have a brisk walk to the school, not only will it do you good but will also enable you to focus on your child when they come out of school rather than getting straight into a car. When you are at home, avoid sitting down wherever possible. Take phone calls stood up. Don’t sit in the garden, potter around tidying up the dead leaves and your metabolism will go up.

Once you are on your feet, make your feet work harder. Increase your pace of walking and you will increase the rate at which your body absorbs fat meaning there is less fat left in your blood system to be deposited in unhealthy and unsightly deposits in your body. Ideally wear trainers when ever possible so that you have the ability to walk quicker and get that little bit extra exercise. If you are in and out of meetings all day or sat at a desk make every step count, walking quicker and putting more focus on keeping your body in shape. Not only does it have great effects on your body but it is also a fantastic stress reliever.

Finally take the harder option. There aren’t many situations where you should look for the harder option but in your day to day life, just avoiding the easy way out can be good for you. Ignore the lift and take the stairs, don’t jump into the first cab you see but take the tube, all those stairs will do you good and standing on the tube is always better than sitting down. Even when you are doing the weekly shop, putting your car a bit further away in the car park and pushing your trolley further can give you that little bit more exercise.

Though each element on its own is going to have no effect whatsoever, when you put all these little pieces together, they become parts of a ‘get fit’ jigsaw and you end up having an exercise regime that could have you ready to wear your bikini just in time for the summer.

If you haven’t yet seen it take a look at this fantastic clip from The Truth About Exercise and log on to I Player today to see the full episode, it may change the way you think about exercise forever. But remember, you can always watch it stood up or walking about on your Ipad or Laptop, just don’t sit down!