NEAT habits to stay healthy

*This piece was originally written for The Summerset Scene magazine - Winter 2020

In the health world, there’s a term known as ‘NEAT’, which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

While this might sound like scientific jargon, essentially it means any daily activity that moves you. You could well be a NEAT expert without even realising it!

Things like opening and closing curtains, gardening, walking to the letterbox, vacuuming and hanging out washing are all examples of NEAT. It is anything we do that doesn’t involve eating, sleeping or sports-like exercise.

The more NEAT activity we incorporate into our life, the more our body continues to burn fuel steadily throughout the day. Think of it like this: if our body’s energy system were a fire, we would want it to be a continuous steady flame, with small spikes (moderate to high exercise) every now and then.

Automatic curtains, robot vacuum cleaners, imitation plants and crinkle-free clothing are beautiful inventions no doubt. However, modern inventions and technology can also deprive us of all the things that keep us moving little and often each day.

So, have a think about how you can increase NEAT activities throughout your day. You will would be surprised at how effective they can be for keeping you active, healthy and strong!

And remember: the cost of positive habits is in the present; the cost of negative habits is in the future.