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While NEAT about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis is the main subject of this article, let me start of by explaining part of a good personal trainers job. As a personal trainer, my job is to help people develop a more healthy lifestyle. The most common thing that comes to mind when hiring a personal trainer is the workout sessions. But creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle includes so much more than what goes on during training sessions or inside the gym altogether.
In fact, think about the total number of hours in a week versus the number of hours spent inside the gym or with a personal trainer. Even if a client does 5 sessions a week with a personal trainer, that’s 5 hours out of 168 for the week. That’s 3% of the week. I believe there is value in the service personal trainers provide their clients (obviously). But the point I’m attempting to illustrate is that hiring a personal trainer is a catalyst for improving your life. It is not, however, the arrival at the destination of your most healthy/fit self.
Enter NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). NEAT refers to the activity you do outside the gym. Think about activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or consider parking as far away as possible when going to the grocery store. An easy example is playing catch with your kids instead of video games. You could even stand or pace while talking on the phone instead of sitting.
NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) are the types of activities that while they take a deliberate choice and create a calorie burn, aren’t classified as formal exercise. They place little stress on the body. You might not even notice you’re standing at your desk instead of sitting after a few weeks of developing the habit. This is the type of activity that can be incorporated into your life sustainably.