So for Steptember, we want to focus on movement each day! Let’s be honest, most of us are often sit at our desks all day with minimal break times. Getting your steps in or activity time (whatever that looks like for you) is not only challenging but can be time consuming - very difficult to achieve throughout a workday. Raising the level of activity throughout the day, through incidental exercise, will be key in helping you with your weight loss journey.
This incidental exercise is often referred as NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) - increasing this will lead to increased metabolism, reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease, and benefit your general overall wellbeing. NEAT can account for as little as 15% of your daily energy expenditure and up to 50%! If you implement some small changes into your day to day life to increase your incidental exercise, you WILL make noticeable improvements in your weight loss journey as well as how you feel inside.
Our STEPtember challenge can easily be a quick way to increase your NEAT! It’s all about working to find little, creative ways throughout the day to increase incidental exercise. So challenge yourself to get up and move your body throughout the day outside of your scheduled workout time. This will not only benefit you in terms of calorie expenditure, it will help your blood to keep circulating throughout the day, give your mind a chance to reset and clear stagnant energy.
We’ve come up with 25 “small steps” for you to increase your NEAT! What are you waiting for?!
- Get a standing desk
- Do a 5 minute workout in your lunch break
- Offer to make coffee/tea or just go make one for yourself
- Take the stairs up and down for 5 minutes
- Do 1 minute of squats, 1 minute of lunges, 30 second wall sit and repeat
- Run an errand
- Instead of ringing a co-worker in the same building, walk over to them!
- Stand up and pace while on the phone
- Do 5 minutes of cleaning throughout the day whether you work at home or the office! Clean your computer, keyboard, desk etc or throw on some laundry or mop the bathroom at home!
- Stand up, stretch, twist your spine from side to side
- Arm circles!
- Park as far away as possible from the office
- Do emails/calls while walking!
- Get off the bus or train a stop or two early
- Fidget! Not only releasing nervous energy but burning calories at the same time!
- Squeeze your glutes while driving. Do 1x 10 second hold every minute for 5 minutes!
- Do calf raises while standing in line
- Carry your shopping/groceries home
- Get up to get your lunch or better yet keep your lunch as far away as possible so you have to walk to get it!
- Go for a walk briskly around the block
- Load or unload the dishwasher
- Use your desk to do standing push ups and really focus on using your triceps!
- Head over to the bubbler or water cooler - keeping yourself hydrated AND getting your steps in!
- Keep some light dumbells at your desk and do 5 minutes of arm exercises
- Have a pet? Walk them and breathe some fresh air too!
Hopefully these are enough to get you started! Movement is so important for our minds as well as our bodies. Sedentary people end up, statistically, with so many more health problems and are more likely to be obese than those who regularly move their bodies.
Now remember, 10K is not a magic number of steps. You should set a goal and strive to reach/exceed it - whatever is right for YOU. Adding in incidental exercise can be extremely beneficial for your weight loss journey and sometimes movement can even help clear your mind, solve problems and get creative! In fact, I’ve written most of these while walking ;)
Have you thought of any more? Comment below and I would love to add them to the list!