Get Active Without Working Out: Here’s the secret

We’re bringing you 10 of the best ways to incorporate activity into your life, without working out.

In this post, we’d like to tell you about it as it is also one of the latest health “craze” topics.

NEAT is revolutionising the way people see burning calories and it is an acronym for (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).

Studies show that NEAT can help people burn small amounts of calories a day in a less sedentary lifestyle.

What are the benefits of NEAT “workouts”?

NEAT is the simple way in which you can burn calories and start training yourself to be less sedentary. It is one of the best ways that you can start getting active without going for a full-on workout.

Here are some benefits:

  • It promotes better blood circulation
  • You’ll burn some extra calories
  • It stops you from being completely sedentary
  • It keeps you in the habit of moving (which is good for your health)

This is possible if you practice moving more by even the smallest actions. They can be as simple as tapping your fingers on a table for instance.

Let’s get to the core values of NEAT for your health and wellness.

What is NEAT?

NEAT is everything we do that uses energy except for activities that involve sleeping, eating, and sports. NEAT includes walking, standing, working in the garden, sitting at a desk typing, pacing, and even fidgeting for that matter. 

Some studies show that people involved in physical labour burn more calories than those in office work. However, actions even as simple as hand gestures or laughing will burn more calories than simply remaining still.

Here’s how you can use NEAT to help get active without working out

1. Go for the stairs

The elevator is a wonderful invention, but it also indirectly encourages less walking. Walking equals burning calories. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, why not opt for the stairs up, and down? In doing so, you’ll increase your step count as well as burn some calories.

If your apartment is on a very high level we don’t expect you to walk all the way. You could go up some stairs and take the lift further.

Tip: Try to take the stairs every day where possible, because the more you walk, the better it is for your health.

2. Complete more chores

Alright, this sounds like a drab and nobody likes performing chores, but guess what? Chores help to burn some slow calories too.

Doing chores is an effective way to get active without working out because some chores are simply tiring.

Some of the best chores for NEAT include the following:

  • Vacuuming
  • Sweeping
  • Wiping windows
  • Washing the car
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Washing the floors
  • Making up the bed

Tip: Listen to some upbeat music as you go because this will undoubtedly help you forget about time and indeed get you grooving to your favourite beats.

3. Just dance

Clubbing is without a doubt a fun social ado. You can tag your friends to join. However, when doing this make sure you get grooving to the music. Dancing is a fantastic way to burn some calories and enjoy doing so.

You don’t need to be part of a club or join a dance club to dance, however. Simply put on your favourite tracks and dance in your living room.

The key is to have fun and dance like no one is watching.

Tip: Alcohol contains calories and this may hamper your goal of NEAT. To combat this, you could still drink less and dance more.

4. The more steps the better

These days many smartphones have a step counter, and there are various fitness trackers to help you stay ahead of this.

Another way to get active without working out includes going for walks. You could choose to walk at a slow pace or walk briskly and slow down in-between. Either way, this is a solid method to burn some calories.

To support your aim to stay motivated in your goal to do more steps a day, start diarising how many steps you’ve walked. Try and up that count by a bit more each time. 

5. Move while you’re on the phone

Taking a call or making one for that matter doesn’t always mean you have to sit down. Some calls are long and this is even better because it will allow you to move about and not have a seat.

Find opportunities to stand and move during your workday.

Pacing up and down for the call’s duration will help you burn a few calories. Some people do this out of habit while others could start getting into the habit.

This is a good one if you tend to sit all day at work. For other ways to be healthier at work, read this blog here.

Tip: Try not taking a seat even if the chair is right in front of you. Instead, keep standing as this may lead to pacing.

6. Walk to the shops

If you live near the shops, owning a car makes wanting to hop in and drive to your destination more of an option. Swop that for walking to the shop ever so often, especially when you’re not going to be carrying too much. 

Walking to the shops will add to your steps a day. This will invariably help to burn just a bit more calories than you would if you had taken your trusty car. 

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes when walking, because if your feet are uncomfortable it will only hurt and make you less inclined to continue with this good habit.

7. Opt to carry your groceries 

If you don’t have many shopping bags then opt to carry it. Think of it as a substitute for weights. While carrying your grocery bags, you’re going to work up a sweat for sure, but that also depends on how heavy and how far you’re walking. 

You can even challenge yourself and park further away from the entrance so that you can walk further with those shopping bags. 

Tip: When unloading your car, try a few bicep curls with the shopping bags. That will help to tone your arms in the process.  

8. Fidget more often

That may seem like an odd NEAT exercise, but as we have already mentioned, fidgeting helps to burn some calories even just a bit.

Whenever you’re sitting too long then it’s high time to fidget your feet a bit more. You can even throw in some ankle rolls to keep the blood circulation going.

Tip: fidgeting with your feet can help to tone your calves a bit more.

9. Play with your kids more often

Playing with your kids is not only a great way to spend more quality time together, but also helps you get active without working out. There are plenty of fun and active games you could play and this will urge you to get some exercise too.

Tip: Select fun active games such as running games, kicking a ball, shooting some hoops, tag, and musical chairs, to name a few.

10. Walk your dog

Walking your dog is another clever way to get active without working out. This will promote you and your dog to get the exercise you both need to keep healthy.

Walk along the beach to make it a bit more challenging as the sand adds to the effort. Or you could take a leisurely walk in your neighbourhood and enjoy the fresh air.

Remember: dogs are not automatically “fit”. You should slowly build up their walking fitness over time, especially if previously they’ve been very sedentary.

During the summer months it can get extremely hot so take care not to overextend yourself or your pooch (heatstroke can kill!).

Don’t forget to bring along some water for your K9 friend if he gets thirsty.

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Are there any disadvantages to NEAT?

NEAT is a great way to incorporate more movement into your lifestyle, which is valuable if you’re currently extremely sedentary.

That being said, these tips would be vastly improved by you adding some form of weight-training, stretching and cardiovascular exercise into your routine.

Simply fidgeting will obviously not burn off loads of unwanted weight, nor will it “shape” your body into your dream figure.

NEAT is a healthy tool to bump up the amount that you move throughout the day and is an easy way to increase your overall calorie expenditure.

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The best thing is that unlike formal exercises, you barely have to think about NEAT.

It’s more a case of getting into the habit of being more active without working out.

The takeaway on how to get active without working out

Low-key activities help to burn some calories but without a doubt, it doesn’t compare to a proper workout. Nonetheless, if you try these “mini” exercises throughout the day it can help keep you more fit than just sitting all day.

NEAT is not a strenuous task if you take it in your stride. We hope we’ve motivated you to experiment with NEAT and increase them as you get into the habit.

NEAT along with a balanced diet and proper workouts will help you in your efforts to become healthier.

Do you consciously add small movements (NEAT) into your day to burn more calories?

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