The Most NEAT Email That You Will Ever Read

Mike Coval
January 5, 2021

NEAT = Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

In other words, the calories you burn from non-planned exercise activities.  A decent amount of the things that would qualify as NEAT, we're not even consciously aware of when we're doing them.


Cleaning your house.

Yard work.

Even tapping your foot uncontrollably at your desk while you're stressing about finish the final phase of your work project.

Outside of eating healthy and exercising regularly, NEAT is probably the most important variable to focus on when it comes to managing your weight as it contributes roughly 15% to your total daily caloric expenditure.

Also, it's very relevant to the time that we're living in now (myself included).  

One of the many negative consequences to our daily routines that has occurred since the stay-at-home order is that we're naturally moving less throughout the day.

The walk from our cars to work.  All of the walking that we do at work.  All of our extracurriculars that require us to get up and move.  Even fidgeting at your desk.  It's all gone for now.

What we're going to do now is give you some ideas that you can absolutely implement now during the quarantine, but even after this is all said and done.

1)  Go for a 30-45 minute walk either first thing in the morning, later at night, both, or whatever timeframe that you see fit.  This is the easiest way to increase NEAT.

2)  Get creative with creating more steps in your day.  For instance, right now my home office is on the second floor of the house.  Sometimes, I might have 3 items with me to take upstairs and I will grab 1 item and intentionally leave the other 2 downstairs.  For example, I'll have my water, Bang energy drink, and backpack to grab in the morning and take upstairs.  I'll grab my water.  Walk upstairs.  Turn around and go back downstairs.  Grab my Bang and walk back up.  Come back down and grab my backpack and head back up one more time before sitting at my desk or in my beanbag to work or learn.  

Easy way to add more steps.

3)  Get out in the yard. Do some yard work.  Play fetch with the dogs and chase them around.

4)  Spend some time in tall kneeling position, 1/2 kneeling position, or seated without lumbar support while working or watching TV.  This will require more muscular effort.

5)  Clean your house.  Especially the areas that might need some vigorous scrubbing.

6)  Throw in random bouts of physical activity.  You might be hanging out watching TV which is totally fine, but maybe you throw in 20 reps of squats every time that your favorite character is in a scene.  I'm just spitballing with the scenario, but you can make it fun and creative in whatever way best suites you. 

Some of the clients I have just randomly grabbing a kettlebell whenever they feel like and execute swings whenever they want with the rule that they knock out 100-200 throughout the day. 

7)  When you go to the grocery store, park way in the back

8)  Cook.  You're on your feet slicing & dicing, rotating, picking things up, etc.  

9)  Don't just go to bed when you go to bed.  In the illustrious words of Forrest Gump….

Remember, these things don't just apply to the quarantine.  These can all be implemented post-quarantine you just have to figure out which are most efficient for your life.

In the next part of this series, we will talk about something that you're most familiar with….exercise.

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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