Monday, December 14, 2009
Burn off calories without formal exercise
Nonexercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, is the energy you burn off doing everything but formal exercise. Researchers say this kind of movement can be just as important as official workouts.
Here are some ideas.
STAND UP: Get up and stretch at least once every 30 minutes. You can stand (and sometimes pace) while talking on the phone, having a meeting or folding laundry. To communicate with co-workers, walk over to their desks rather than sending e-mail — or ask if they'd like to take a walk as you discuss an idea.
GET FIDGETY: Tap your toes, bounce your legs, wiggle your fingers, turn your head and even clench the muscles in your buttocks while you're sitting at a desk or stuck in traffic.
MAKE CHORES PAY OFF: Alternate between upstairs and downstairs work so you have to climb the stairs often. Listen to music and dance around as you dust or wash windows. And tackle big jobs such as leaf raking, painting and reorganizing packed closets. If you really want to up the calorie burn, wear ankle weights the entire time.
ADD MORE STEPS: Park farther from a store, take stairs rather than elevators and escalators, and stay off moving walkways at airports.
MULTITASK: If you don't want a treadmill in front of your television, you can still sit on an exercise ball or even in a rocking chair. You and your kids also can do sit-ups, jumping jacks or silly dances during commercial breaks.
CHEW GUM: Again, the goal is motion.