Yoga Ball

Workout Wednesday: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

geeking,

I’ve been completely geeking out, today, as I’ve dived deep into a study of thermodynamics. More specifically, the aspect of thermogenesis in which the body burns up the calories after they’ve been consumed. Every single time I go down the rabbit hole of these studies, I’m overcome by how cool our body processes are! Think about the smart phone in your hand that you’re reading this blog post from. It can do so many awesome things, right?

Well, our body can be chalked up to one of God’s first and smartest creations here on earth! There are so many scientific processes taking place within our body every second of every day! Most of the science flies right over my feeble mind, but learning about all of the ways that the body burns calories makes me all giddy inside! I know, totally nerdy, right!? It’s ok, you can say it.

After we’ve eaten our meals, every single calorie of food gets put to use in various ways. The majority of your consumed calories is used for fuel to support and maintain normal body functions, like temperature regulation. The rest is used to digest food and support movement for exercise. Excess calories are converted into fat and stored for later energy use (Please forgive me as I get a little bit “text book-y” for a few minutes. But this is really cool stuff, just trust me!).

There are four different ways that we burn calories:

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), this is also referred to as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). These are the calories that our bodies burn while we are breathing, circulating blood, through our organ functions, and basal neurological functions. Some people have very high RMR, while some people have very low RMR. High RMR occurs, in part, from higher levels of muscle. But also from high production of thyroid hormones and other functions. Low RMR can occur from hypothyroidism (low thyroid production), or a high percentage of body fat and low level of lean body mass. 60-75% of the calories we burn in a day occur through our Resting Metabolic Rate.
  2. The Thermic Effect of Foods (TEF). Did you know that eating food actually causes your body to burn calories? How cool is that!? This comes from the energy required for our body to digest the food we eat, and then breaking it down into further energy extraction in our body. Simple carbohydrates and fats have a relatively lower thermic effect of energy compared to protein. Research has shown that eating higher protein meals has a higher thermic response than high carbohydrate meals (See?! There is a method to my madness in taking a higher protein approach to weight loss!). 10% of the calories we burn in a day occur through the digestive processes of the Thermic Effect of Food.
  3. The Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA). This accounts for the calories that we burn through intentional exercise and spontaneous physical activity (Dance party in the kitchen, anyone?). TEA includes energy expenditure (calorie burn) due to physical work, cardio exercise, weight lifting, and any planned and structured exercise. TEA helps us maintain a healthy body weight and raise our RMR. 15-30% of the calories we burn in a day occur through the Thermic Effect of Activity.
  4. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is the energy expended, and calories burned, from everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or exercising. It’s the energy we burn during daily activities (i.e. walking to and from the car, typing, walking up the stairs, chasing our toddlers, and even fidgeting.). Daily NEAT actually helps to increase our metabolic rate, even for brief periods of time. The more active your lifestyle, the higher your NEAT will be and the better your energy balance. NEAT can even be leveraged in how one maintains or loses body weight and/or develops obesity.

Since our Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis can be an important contributor to increasing our metabolic rate, my workout prescription for all of you is to increase your NEAT!

N.E.A.T. EXERCISE PLAN

  • Play with your kids
  • Take the stairs whenever possible
  • Park at the back of the parking lot
  • Take a 10 minute walk break every two hours
  • Bike to work
  • Projects around the house (When was the last time you cleaned your showers? I’m not judging, just prescribing some NEAT!)
  • Sit on an exercise ball while working at a desk (I’m going to start doing this tomorrow!)
  • Get a pedometer or smart watch and challenge yourself to add more steps or activity points each day
  • Pace and fidget more
  • Adopt a more active lifestyle instead of being sedentary during your free time
  • Walk or bike instead of drive
stairs

Additional exercise equipment

Check out some of these awesome products which can help you increase your NEAT exercise plan. You can now binge watch your favorite Netflix show and increase your metabolism at the same time! You’re welcome!

That’s my exercise plan for you for this week, increase your non-exercise movement throughout the day. If you increase your movement, your energy expenditure will add up and you might find that you’re losing your last 15 lbs a little quicker than you first planned!

Happy fidgeting! Talk to you soon!


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exercise plan

burning tree

Workout Wednesday: Fire up your metabolism!

Alright folks, this is the exact type of workout plan that I teach in my bootcamp style exercise class. If there is any type of workout plan which promises to rev up your metabolism all while helping you to build strength, muscular endurance, and fire up your heart rate, it is this circuit. You will burn fat during your workout, and after! Gotta love that! This is the most frequent style of workout that I do as my own workouts, and I finish feeling so good every single time!

Here’s the workout plan:

5 minute warm up. You can jog, jumping jack, dance, stretch doesn’t matter. Just move.

You’ll perform each of these ten exercises consecutively until you’ve made it through the whole list. Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds with 15-30 seconds of rest in between. If you’re a beginner, then one time through might feel like plenty. If you’re further advanced, see if you can make it through the whole circuit three (if not four) times. Be sure to take a short rest period of two minutes, each time, before starting the circuit again.

  1. Lateral shoulder raises + alternating lunge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQWw4qeH2fo
  2. Plank hold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWd2VXg2Mpk
  3. Gliding disk reverse lunge plus hip circle (use paper plate if you don’t have gliding disks): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD6Y4JHKAUg
  4. Kettle bell swing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKDIuUbH94Q (If you don’t have a kettlebell: https://livehealthy.chron.com/substitute-kettlebell-swings-4352.html)
  5. Lateral squat + front shoulder raises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yAofWC313E
  6. Decline push up: (with knees) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKKLCw4jlmQ or (with feet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIpw1JD4qw
  7. Burpees: (for beginners) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yiWAgm3DSU or (moderate to advanced) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZgVxmf6jkA
  8. Incline mountain climbers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYBDOL8h0Ao
  9. Step up or box jump: (step up) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hiWQ7pehjQ or (box jump) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaQLhH-HBH8
  10. Gliding disk knee tuck + push up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5qGSEwWcOU

Gear needed:

Box or step, Kettle bell, Dumbbell, Gliding disc or paper plate (You can get some inexpensive ones here)

Dumbell for workout plan
Kettle Bell for workout plan
Gliding Discs

Burpees! How much do we love and hate them!?!? Oh but the amazing things they do for our whole body!

Talk to you soon!

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Workout plan #2: Got a Stair?

Estimated time: You Decide (15 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins)

As I have been thinking through some of the many workout ideas I could share with you, I really wanted to show you how you can get an amazing workout without any equipment that you don’t already have (especially given the current COVID environment when your gym might be closed or you prefer working out at home still). I’ve chosen the one thing that you, for sure, have in your home or at the park: a step of some sort. This may look different for everyone. Some of you might be able to use the stairs in your home. You may choose to use a kitchen chair, step stool, front porch, couch seat, playground stairs, park bench, or a combination of these.

This total body workout is a circuit style program which promises to get your heart rate up while also helping to strengthen your muscles. This is the type of workout that revs up your metabolism, and in turn helps to burn unwanted fat. There are 10 exercises in the circuit. You’ll perform each exercise consecutively until you’ve made it through the whole list. Perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds with 15-30 seconds of rest in between. If you’re a beginner, then one time through might feel like plenty. If you’re further advanced, see if you can make it through the whole circuit three if not four times. Be sure to take a short rest period of two minutes, each time, before starting the circuit again.

Have fun with it! Blast your favorite tunes that make you want to move! My favorites: “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes and Ryan Tedder, “Drop That” by Jacob Plant, and “Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons, (who am I kidding?! almost everything by One Republic and Imagine Dragons!).

Alright, here’s the workout:

Stair/Step circuit:

Begin with a brisk 5 minute walk or jog up and down the stairs.

I want to be working out where she is!

(One of these days I’ll start making my own videos of these exercises, but until then, this will have to do…)

And there you have it! Do this workout two or three times during the week, and work in some cardio the other days! Let me know if you completed this workout, and which exercise you loved (or hated) the most (If I were an emoji person, I’d insert a “winky face” here)!

Talk to you soon!

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