Helping clients manage or lose weight is a challenge when you have a small amount of time with them in a day or week. They fit in their workouts on a regular basis and have their nutrition under control yet still aren’t seeing the results they desire. Exploring how much your clients move outside of their workouts might help provide insight. The answer might simply be moving more.
Studies show that increasing NEAT (Non Exercise Active Thermogenesis) can be equally as effective in losing or managing weight as workouts in the gym. NEAT includes all daily activity outside of structured workouts. Introducing more activity throughout the day might just be the needed boost. Moving more helps the body's fat burning mechanisms and adds to the total daily caloric expenditure.
More activity tends to help suppress the appetite and is motivation to make better food choices. When clients are bummed because they don’t have time to go to the gym empower them with the knowledge that incorporating bouts of activity throughout their day can be equally as beneficial. Little movements throughout the day can make a big difference. And the truth of the matter is, don’t we all feel more youthful and energized when we move more?
Here are ideas to share with your clients for including NEAT in their lives:
- Play a song that makes you want to move. Dance like no one is watching for the duration of the song. Remind clients to incorporate moves that make them smile!
- Instead of meeting friends or business colleagues for coffee schedule a walk-‘n-talk. Meet at a local park or in an area where they can walk freely. Before they know it they will have solved the world’s problems and walked miles without realizing it!
- Use the stairs. Help clients set a goal to take a flight of stairs at home or at work a certain number of times a day. Get fancy with it and skip a step, pick up the pace or take the stairs diagonally. Your client will feel like an athlete every time they hit the stairs!
- Make an effort to stand throughout the day. Standing uses more muscles and burns more calories than sitting. When in meetings or at home on the couch consciously make the effort not to sit for longer than 30 minutes. Drinking water encourages standing and walking to go the bathroom. While standing put your hips into it creating a signature pose to make everyone want to follow your lead!
- PLAY more. Throw a ball. Play badminton. Shoot hoops. Hide and seek. There’s probably a big kid or an animal in your life that would love this. Sometimes we get caught up in our serious adult responsibilities we forget we can have fun. Who says we have to stop playing because we are adults?
The goal is to find unique activities throughout the day that naturally create a more active lifestyle. Burning calories while enjoying life. Isn’t that NEAT?
Lisa Jameson has a B.S. in Health Education and is ACE, AFAA certified. She has nearly two decades of experience in personal training and group fitness. She has worked in corporate, commercial, college, in-home and outdoor fitness settings. She stays hungry for learning and feeds her mind with journal articles, books, conferences, webinars, and classes.