This guest post is from our friend Matthew Donovan an experienced and credible Exercise Physiologist who runs a gym in Brookvale in Sydney in the Northern Beaches and has an online platform which steams for clients anywhere:

What is N.E.A.T.?

N.E.A.T. stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. What’s that I hear you ask? Well, its simply the energy that you expend doing everything that is not eating, sleeping, keeping your body alive and exercise. This includes energy expended doing tasks like walking to the bus stop, taking out the garbage, pushing a trolly around the supermarket, etc

What are the benefits of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis for health?

It turns out that N.E.A.T energy expenditure is very important for many aspects of our health, most notably our cardiovascular and metabolic health (think heart disease, diabetes and weight gain).

How to incorporate more N.E.A.T into your life during the pandemic

From all the conversations I have been having with people, most are mindful to maintain some level of exercise via walking or home-based strength training. But outside of these short bouts of exercise, there is a lot of sedentary behaviour happening due to our new restricted lifestyle.

So what can be done to combat the fact that we are far more sedentary than we would normally be?

Follow these tips to keep active and moving at home during COVID.

  1. Take exercise “Snacks”

    An exercise snack is a short bout of exercise that might take 5-15 mins and is performed multiple times per day. It could be a brisk walk, a bodyweight routine or some star jumps. Get creative!

  2. Perform some “intense exercise”

    Intense exercise will be more demanding on your metabolism, it will raise the heart rate higher, it will encourage vascular dilation and blood flow. Essentially, anything that gets you breathing noticeable more. There is also greater post-exercise thermogenesis where energy is continued to be burnt during the recovery phase for many hours after exercise has finished.

  3. Monitor your step count

    You can monitor your step count via an activity monitor or your phone. Aim for a minimum of 5000 and ideally 10000.