Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)

 I've come a long way baby (see the story so far).

And you'd think I was on a short list for the Olympics -- but it aint so.

There is only so much one can do with a body such as mine. It's not at all about how I look -- it's all about how I feel.

That said I have to ask myself , what more can I do?

(You'll note the frustration.)

Here I am notching up the physical activity that millions may aspire to and I'm not satisfied , even demanding more.

As we discussed last time, stopping or scaling back isn't an option.

I like what I do in way of 'conscious exercise'. I'm proud of it and it generates a range of simple pleasures each day. It's an achievement.

But if I were to add more...not much more, how could I guarantee that it would do any good, or at least enough good to warrant the outlay of exertion ?


This is where the concept of NEAT (for non-exercise activity thermogenesis) may be of assistance. NEAT, I guess, is all about fidgetting.

That's right I gotta get the fidgets. Look at it this way. On the computer I sit stationary for hours. watching TV I sit stationary for hours. Reading I  lie stationary for hours.

If I got up often and did other more physical stuff, I'd be living very differently.

There are three forms of Thermogenesis   (which is the  the process of heat production in organisms esp warm-blooded animals.):
  • Exercise-associated thermogenesis (EAT)
  • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
  • Diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT)
But it's  the NEAT that interests me:
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting. Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual's daily NEAT. It is, therefore, not surprising that NEAT explains a vast majority of an individual's non-resting energy needs. Epidemiological studies highlight the importance of culture in promoting and quashing NEAT. Agricultural and manual workers have high NEAT, whereas wealth and industrialization appear to decrease NEAT. Physiological studies demonstrate, intriguingly, that NEAT is modulated with changes in energy balance; NEAT increases with overfeeding and decreases with underfeeding. Thus, NEAT could be a critical component in how we maintain our body weight and/or develop obesity or lose weight. The mechanism that regulates NEAT is unknown. However, hypothalamic factors have been identified that specifically and directly increase NEAT in animals. By understanding how NEAT is regulated we may come to appreciate that spontaneous physical activity is not spontaneous at all but carefully programmed.
How that relates to what I don't do is simple. I  have to take more frequent breaks from inactivity. So how is that done given that it surely is the most difficult of tasks?

Rather than consciously exercising NEAT is about consciously not-exercising.

So far I've added a stop watch/timer app to my computer desktop. My hope is to turn it on at every session at the console (and that's hard enough to remember to do) and be ruled by its reminders. I used to use a Pedometer when I was consciously walking longer distances each day and I'd keep it on throughout my non sleeping hours. I'd register a greater distane that way.

Maybe I should go back to that approach? The game is to retrain your self from old habits.



Blogger | May 8, 2017 at 6:07 AM

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