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The NEAT trick you need to stay active

We all know that exercise is essential for keeping your body and mind happy and healthy. Right?

But here's the thing—you might be missing out on the incredible benefits of everyday movement, if you believe that staying active and exercising is only about structured workouts.

Let me introduce you to Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (N.E.A.T). It's a big fancy term to describe all those little bursts of energy we use for everyday movements like walking, taking the stairs, doing household chores and even talking with your hands!

While it might not seem like a lot, NEAT can have a substantial impact on your mobility, mood and longevity.

The Unsung Hero of Everyday Movements

NEAT is the behind-the-scenes superstar that works to keep you healthy, increasing your metabolic rate and calorie expenditure, even when you're not pumping iron, doing Zumba or running up a hill.

We often associate physical activity or exercise with grueling workouts, but the truth is that our bodies are in constant motion throughout the day, and NEAT encompasses all those small, seemingly insignificant movements that add up to significant health benefits. From fidgeting at your desk to taking the stairs, each little action contributes to your overall activity level. So that means animated storytelling, pottering around the house doing housework and air drumming can be hidden gems for our wellbeing!

It's really neat (see what I did there?).

Benefits of Increasing NEAT Activities

Apart from this, an increase in daily NEAT activities can also lead to:

  • Reduced chances of developing any chronic disorder: Incorporating more movement into your day can reduce the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies have shown that individuals with higher NEAT tend to have lower body fat and better overall health.

  • Improved heart health: NEAT contributes to better cardiovascular health by keeping blood flowing and reducing the strain on the heart.

  • Healthy weight management: NEAT plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight or achieving weight loss goals. By burning additional calories throughout the day, you can create a calorie deficit without even hitting the gym.

  • Increased life span: Studies have suggested that higher NEAT levels are associated with a longer life span. So, those little movements might not just be trivial; they could be adding years to your life!

  • Better mental health: Physical activity, even in the form of everyday movements, has profound effects on mental wellbeing. NEAT can boost mood, reduce stress, and improve cognitive function.

  • Increased metabolism: NEAT stimulates your metabolism, enhancing the body's ability to burn calories efficiently.

Discovering NEAT in Feldenkrais "Not Yoga" Classes

NEAT describes the level of activity we do in Feldenkrais “Not Yoga” classes.

Sure, some of the movements we do might be more challenging or vigorous than others, but it’s most certainly not a workout in the traditional sense. There’s no sweat, swearing or effort involved. The beauty of Feldenkrais "Not Yoga" classes is that they celebrate the joy of movement in its purest form. It's not about pushing your body to its limits but rather about cultivating a deeper understanding of how your body moves and finding ease and grace in your actions.

While still working on your mobility, increasing range of easy movement in your joints, increasing your flexibility, coordination and balance.

A further bonus is that Feldenkrais “Not Yoga” classes add a liberal dose of awareness into the mix.

The combination of movement and mindfulness in Feldenkrais classes is a game-changer. When you take the time to be fully present in your movements, you tap into a profound mind-body connection. This connection not only enhances the benefits of the movements during the class but extends to all aspects of your life.

By honing your body awareness, you become more attuned to the subtle nuances of movement in your daily life, allowing you to move with greater efficiency and less strain.

Which means you move better throughout ALL your daily activities. And when moving is easier, you tend to also move more.

Embracing the Joy of Movement

So as you go about your day, think about how you can sprinkle some extra movement magic into your life.

Take the scenic route when walking, bust out a spontaneous dance party in the kitchen, or maybe even do a little chair jiggle during those Zoom calls.

Remember, staying active isn't just about the structured workouts—it's about embracing the joy of movement in all its forms.

There's a whole world of movement magic happening right under our noses, and it's time to tap into its potential. By embracing N.E.A.T. and incorporating more everyday movements into our lives, we can enhance our overall wellbeing and happiness. If you're curious to explore more about the Feldenkrais Method or want to learn some fun NEAT hacks, get in touch!

Keep being awesome and keep moving.

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