January – Day 3/31

Let’s talk about exercise vs. daily activity and what we can do to increase calorie expenditure…

First off, what is the difference between  exercise and daily activity?

Exercise is any activity which requires a physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness.

Daily activity are the things we normally do in daily living e.g eating, dressing, taking a shower etc.

Why is this important?

I don’t want you to feel like you have to go out and join a gym or a fitness class to lose weight and get fit; you can if that’s what you would really like to do, and if that’s what fits in best with your lifestyle. I want you to be able to add activity to your day that will contribute to your calorie expenditure which is easily achievable. I’m talking about your NEAT calorie burn.

N.E.A.T = Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – the energy we expend during normal daily activities (chasing after the kids, walking around the shops etc). NEAT is the energy burnt during all daily activities except sleeping, eating or taking part in formal exercise/sports.

Cartoon kid daily routine activities set

In a nutshell I am saying I want you to MOVE MORE ANY WAY YOU CAN!

Let’s say Sally and Sue both have the same body type, weight etc which means if they both basically sat and did nothing all day they would burn the exact same amount of calories. Sally and Sue both have the same office job, they sit at a computer to complete their work during their 37.5 hour a week 9-5.

Sally sits all day, only getting up when she absolutely has to.

Sue gets up and walks around the office at least once an hour. She gets outside on her lunch break and has a 20 minute walk in the fresh air.

At the end of the day Sue has burnt more calories than Sue in the same amount of time from simple doing more normal activity and how difficult was it for her to achieve? Not hard at all!

YOU CAN EASILY DO IT TOO! Throw some excuses at me and I will give you some ways to fit more activity in.

I bet you manage to log onto social media a few times a day, or manage to vegetate on the sofa in front of the TV for at least 30 minutes on an evening – nothing to stop you being active whilst you do these things. You don’t have to go anywhere, just walk on the spot. You might feel like a bit of an idiot to begin with but once you start seeing and feeling a difference you’ll soon get addicted.

Even when you’re talking to someone, a person who is a more animated conversationalist will burn more calories during a 5 minute chat that someone who just stands there with their arms folded (hint; if you’re talking to someone who is standing like this, end your conversation, generally speaking, they couldn’t give a crap about what you’re saying. Go and move instead).

You can track your activity too. Things like a free step tracker app downloaded to your phone are handy (though you have to keep your phone on you at all times and they aren’t quite as accurate) or more suitably an activity tracker watch like a FitBit are ideal. They track your steps, give you reminders to move, track your workouts (if you’re doing them), and they link up to MyFitnessPal which I recommended was great for tracking your calories.

Personally I love a Fitbit, I currently have the Fitbit Charge 2 but I need to upgrade as I have cracked the screen. I think I’ll be going for either the FitBit Charge 3 or the FitBit Versa.

We should each have a goal of steps to hit per day and for the average Joe this should be between 10,000-15,000 steps. No excuses, get up and start raking up those numbers!

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