Exercise and Weight Loss - Part 2 - The Use of NEAT To Help Weight Loss

Is Exercise Needed For Weight Loss? Will it actually help you lose pounds? Can sedentary individuals actually add significant muscle mass? Can you change your diet and accomplish time consuming exercise at the same time? Do you feel guilty not exercising like you skinny friends? These are some significant and controversial issues.

My previous posting reviewed the benefits of exercise, the problems with trying to make an Olympic athlete out of a couch potato, and what is really realistic. Here is more about a new concept- NEAT which may help sort out some of these issues and change the dieter struggling to lose weight and becoming discouraged by inability to exercise.

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NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is the new secret to weight loss.

You don't need to beat yourself up at a gym to lose all the weight you want All you need to do is some life style exercises You don't have to exercise like an athlete to lose weight. Just add some NEAT a day Overweight and thin people have different NEAT's How you can change to NEAT and not even notice it. Stop feeling quilty about not exercising like an sports fiend.

What is NEAT?: Increasing Your NEAT Can Make You Lean

Dr. James A Levine from the Mayo Clinic recently coined a new term from his measurements of daily activity: NEAT ( for non-exercise activity thermogenesis) to describe the calorie burning that is associated with daily activities including walking, cleaning, cooking, driving a car and even sex. (Thermogenesis is the scientific word for calorie burning). Increasing you NEAT activities just a few minutes a day can help you lose weight and improve all of your metabolic parameters like blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. It will truly prolong your life.

Dr Levine divides NEAT into 2 types:

Occupational NEAT represents those calories burned doing one's occupation. A highly ambulatory or strenuous job like a package delivery man or a construction worker burns 1000 calories a day, while most of us with sedentary jobs only burn 100-200 calories a day. Remember, being busy is not the same as strenuous. A good definition of a strenuous job means that 75% or more of the day's work occurs outside a building or vehicle.

Non-occupational NEAT are those calories burned doing our daily activities, excluding those related to occupation. Dr Levine found that thin people even with sedentary jobs spend 150 minutes more a day on their feet than overweight people and overweight people spend 160 minutes more than thin people sitting.

This is not a genetic change in obesity people because it happened only in the last 20-30 years but an adaptation to the sitting environment. Some people like to sit more than others.

What are the thin people with sedentary occupations doing?

They are fidgeting, standing on their feet instead of sitting, climbing steps instead of using the elevator, going from room to room- often with little purpose, cleaning, watering the yard, cleaning their car. They get out of their car, instead of going to drive- through restaurants, banks, and even pharmacies. They will walk instead of taking the motorized walkways.

The overweight person, has learned to do daily tasks with the least amount of effort. Instead of getting up from his feet to get a file 4 feet away, he will slide his chair, or ask a colleague to grab it for him.

.Increasing Your NEAT Makes You Lean:

Increasing calories burned by doing Lifestyle Exercises when both working and not working is clearly the answer to many people's weight problem lies.

Lifestyle exercise can actually assist weight loss and, more specifically, help through plateaus. The addition of small amounts of physical activity to daily routine can improve many aspects of health. Moreover, such improvements can be experienced by virtually everyone, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. They will not require great commitments or an enormous amount of will power.The allowing are some of the additional benefits of regular lifestyle exercises.

Strengthens the cardiovascular system

The term "cardiovascular system" refers to heart and blood vessels. Cholesterol buildup in arteries can cause strokes and heart attacks. Regular physical activities prevent this from happening in three different ways:

o Lower the buildup of bad cholesterol (LDL) in arteries by increasing the concentration of good cholesterol (HDL)

o Prevent the onset of high blood pressure if you are at increased risk of developing this condition

o Lower your blood pressure if yours is already high

Keeps bones and muscles strong

Regular physical activities are one of the best methods to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen your muscles. Choose lifestyle exercises that bear your body's weight, such as walking and jogging.

Can help to break through plateaus

Physical activities will help to increase metabolism again after the normal slowing that accompanies weight loss.

Prevents and manages diabetes

Regular physical activities, coupled with weight loss, are important ways to control blood sugar. Exercise helps insulin work and can lower blood sugar.

Eases depression and manages pain and stress

Regular physical activities can help fight depression by activating the neurotransmitters (chemicals used by nerve cells to communicate with one another) serotonin and norepinephrine. Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins, other neurotransmitters that produce feelings of well being.

Reduces your risk of certain types of cancer

Regular physical activities may help lower the risk of cancers of the colon, prostate, uterus, and breasts.

Helps sleep

A good night's sleep helps maintain physical and mental health. Moderate physical activities at least three hours before bedtime can help to relax and sleep better at night.

Helps prolong life

Regular physical activities definitely prolong life expectancy.

There are many benefits that can come from regular physical activity. Here are the four things to know about the role that exercising plays (or does not play) in a weight loss program:

1. "Lifestyle" exercises are equally or more effective than structured aerobic or weight lifting exercise for weight loss.

2. Having an idea about the calories really burned during exercises permits you to understand the effort it takes to burn off the calories of bad food choices.

3. Exercise plays only a minimal role in short-term weight loss; the obsession with hours of working out in gyms often diverts attention from what is really important-the foods that one eats.

4. Diet and/or exercise cannot remove genetically determined fat deposits in most individuals.

Examples of Lifestyle Exercises

o Taking the stairs instead of the elevator

o Parking the car at the far reaches of the parking lot

o Getting off the bus a stop early and walking the distance to your destination

o Walking or biking on errands

o Delivering a message in person in an office, instead of by e-mail

o Walking your dog an extra block

o Doing yard work

Walking as a NEAT Exercise

For a more formal lifestyle exercise program, try walking. Most of us have the equipment with us to do this every day, even when traveling. Walking costs nothing and can take as little as a few minutes. Even walking for ten minutes several times a day can help stimulate weight loss and, more importantly, will improve your cardiovascular health.

However, there are some challenges associated with walking, as your ability or willingness to be outdoors may be affected by the weather, pollution, or safety concerns. And remember, just because you are sweating does not mean that you are burning calories. It could simply be hot outside! Most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories they burn while walking. Here are three easy methods to quickly estimate the calories you are burning while walking

Use a pedometer, measures steps: 1000 steps =1/2 mile=50 calories

Measure out distance in your neighborhood: 1 mile= 100 calories

Factor of "4:" multiply time you walk in minutes x 4 = calories burned

*Depends on height, weight, fitness level, terrain, clothing, temperature,

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