In Dr. A’s Habits of Health, I write about two types of motion: NEAT and EAT.
If you are new to the Habits of Health Transformational System, NEAT activities are calorie-burning moments throughout our days that ARE NOT formal exercise. Walking up the stairs at work burns calories and so does dancing to a song at your desk. You aren’t scheduling time to dance at your desk; it just happens as the natural flow of your day progresses, but the calories you burn still count, and in a big way.
EAT, on the other hand, is scheduled exercise. Going to the gym, going for a long walk or a jog, rolling out your yoga mat – these are all calorie-burning activities that you deliberately blocked out time to do.
You Don’t Need to Live at the Gym
When I talk to clients about exercise, they are often surprised when I say that 30 minutes a day of moderate activity is all you need for a lifetime of health.
Yes. That’s all it takes. 30 minutes.
We are so used to seeing fitness influencers on social media and ultra-athletes in sports that we overestimate how much effort is required to be physically fit. Exercise in any of its forms can become a rewarding hobby, but you also don’t have to spend hours in the gym each day to reach your health goals.
The NEAT System (pg. 369 in Dr. A’s Habits of Health) plays an important part in this approach, so don’t ignore opportunities for putting your body into motion throughout the normal course of your day.
When we add the EAT System (pg. 381) on top of the foundation built by NEAT, we are able to increase your energy expenditure even more as you train and optimize your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, meeting all the American Heart Association’s recommendations for overall cardiovascular health along the way.
With just 30 minutes a day, you can achieve the three core goals of Habits of Healthy Motion:
- Increasing energy expenditure to create a consistent balance between energy in and energy out, controlling your weight
- Optimizing cardiovascular health so that your heart, lungs, and blood vessels can deliver enough oxygen to keep your cells functioning properly, especially your brain cells
- Building a strong, healthy support system of bones and muscles to help you stay active, keep fit, and maintain a healthy weight
If you are new to formal exercise, talk to your healthcare provider before making any big changes. When you do start, go slow, and seek out support for your journey, such as with a health coach or a personal trainer (or both!).
Are you ready to put your body in motion? Open your copy of Dr. A’s Habits of Health for workout guides and a process for easing yourself into a new, active lifestyle.