Incorporate movement into your dayIncorporate movement into your day
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Kickoff's certified personal trainers and registered dietitians share detailed analysis, discussion, and how-tos about the questions we get most often

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8 Easy Ways to Increase Your Physical Activity - Outside of Your Workouts

Our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is determined by a variety of things. The part of our daily energy expenditure that we often think about is our physical activity through exercise. But our TDEE also includes non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which includes all our daily activity outside of exercise. This is the part of our TDEE that is lacking if we’re stuck at home, and if you’re hitting a weight loss plateau, it may actually be your physical activity outside of your set workouts that’s holding you back.

Here are some easy ways to increase energy expenditure by limiting sedentary activity, even under the current circumstances:

  • Take a walk. If you are in an area right now where you are able to get out and walk, this is one of the best ways to get moving and relieve stress. Fit it into your personal schedule, in the morning to get going, to get through an afternoon slump, or to get out in the evening after dinner.

  • Stand more. If you are working from home, try converting your work area into a space you can stand at.

  • Commercial break circuits. If you’re stuck inside binging Netflix, you can still get a move on! During commercial breaks (or in-between episodes) try doing jumping jacks, sit-ups, stretches, or any kind of bodyweight activity.

  • “Play” outside. Remember being a kid and actually playing outside? If you have a yard or a driveway, try getting out a basketball, soccer ball, or any kind of sport activity that gets you moving around. Even if you’re by yourself you can shoot hoops or kick a soccer ball off a wall!

  • Stretch work breaks. If you’re working on the computer from home, set an alarm for every hour, or whatever time works for your schedule, where you just get up for a few moments, move around, and stretch it out.

  • Dance party. Take advantage of not being surrounded by other people in the office. Every so often put on your favorite song and have a dance around the house. It is a great way to lift your mood and get your body moving.

  • House chores. It may not seem like much or be as much fun exactly, but yard work, cleaning, anything that requires movement is important for your daily physical activity and mental well-being. Try to still do at least one “chore” a day that involves some movement.

  • Try something new. This is a great time to test out different methods of movement. There are tons of videos on the internet including dance workouts, yoga, ab blaster’s, pilates, bodyweight boxing workouts, etc. that can all take less than 15 minutes (check out some of ours on our IGTV!). When you’re feeling bored you can take it as an opportunity to test out a new form of movement through a much less intimidating format than going to a new class might be! If you’re training with Kickoff, your coach can also help you with personalized recommendations and workouts based on your goals and circumstances.

The key is to find small ways throughout the day to move your body more. If it’s fun, creative, and makes you feel better than you’ll stick to it more. The small things add up over time and not only can help to burn fat, but can help relieve stress, and improve your mental health as well.

To get a personalized workout and nutrition plan and train with Mary Ellen Grap, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, visit here.

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Sources:

The biological control of voluntary exercise, spontaneous physical activity and daily energy 

expenditure in relation to obesity: human and rodent perspectives.

Theodore Garland, Jr, Heidi Schutz, Mark A. Chappell, Brooke K. Keeney, Thomas H. Meek, Lynn E. Copes, Wendy Acosta, Clemens Drenowatz, Robert C. Maciel, Gertjan van Dijk, Catherine M. Kotz, Joey C. Eisenmann

Journal of Experimental Biology 2011 214: 206-229; doi: 10.1242/jeb.048397

James A. Levine, Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), Best Practice & Research Clinical 

Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 16, Issue 4,2002, Pages 679-702, SSN 1521-690X, https://doi.org/10.1053/beem.2002.0227.

(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1521690X02902277)