It Adds Up

This is for you and for your children. It’s for your cousin, your teenager, your spouse... No matter how fit or how sedentary, basic movement is for everyone. And it’s more impactful than we know. When I say movement, I’m not talking about hang squat cleans, burpees, and kettlebell swings. I’m talking about standing instead of sitting. I’m talking about walking instead of driving.  

This type of movement is done outside the gym and you might be surprised how it adds up. Standing and walking are what we call N.E.A.T. (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Basically, it’s the burning of calories through low level activity.

The workouts you do in the gym are meaningful. That heavy back squat or those push ups, those are impactful. They are part of the puzzle of putting together what makes up a healthy, lean body. The work in the gym breaks down into 2 basic stimulus. It provides a hormonal response, an increase in human growth hormone (better skin, leaner muscle, more energy throughout the day, increased bone density, higher sex drive, balanced hormones, etc.). It also burns calories, but it might not add up to exactly what you think it does when it comes to calorie burn.

Workout Calories: A 3 mile run done in 18 minutes, which is 10 mph on a treadmill = 200 to 400 calories burned depending on body weight. 125lb is closer to 200 calories and 185lb is closer to 400 calories.

N.E.A.T. Calories: Limiting sitting to 2 hours a day and walking 10K+ steps = up to 2000 calories burned in a day!

Outcome: There are 3,500 calories in 1lb of fat. If you were to do nothing more than walk and stand more each day you will burn an extra 10 lb to 30 lb of fat a year.

What should you do? Start finding ways to make your world smaller:

  • Walk or bike to work

  • Get a stand up desk

  • Take phone calls while you are walking

  • Schedule walking meetings

FitnessAaron Leventhal