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Walk With A Purpose

We started a 28 day step challenge recently to help encourage more of our members and wider community to move as much as possible outside of their workouts.

The goal here was simple:

To increase everybody's NEAT levels to help them with their overall physical activity and health & fitness goals.

Once we posted the challenge we got some more questions around NEAT so we decided to put together a short blog post to give you some more information on why it's so important.

NEAT actually stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and can play a major role in your ability to “burn calories” and stay lean with a lot less effort.

Want to know more?

Ok, stick with me while we get a bit nerdy for a minute - I'll keep it brief I promise!

We all have a "Resting Metabolic Rate" (RMR) which is essentially how much energy (calories) we burn without any physical activity whatsoever i.e lying still on the couch all day! This accounts for anywhere up to 60% of your overall daily energy expenditure.

Also, believe it or not, absorbing and digesting food burns calories too and can account for anywhere from 10-15% of your overall energy expenditure. This is called the "Thermic Effect of Food" or TEF for short.

These two added together (RMR & TEF), plus something called "Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis" (NEAT) result in your overall daily energy expenditure.

RMR + TEF + NEAT = Overall Daily Energy Expenditure

Put simply, NEAT is the amount of extra calories you burn on a daily basis that do not directly come from intentional exercise, eating or resting.

Now let’s think about fat loss for a second.

For the most part, it all comes down to calories in versus calories out.

If you eat more and move less you will most likely gain weight.

If you eat less and move more you will most likely lose weight.

This is where NEAT enters the equation!

The more energy you expend by simply moving more throughout the day has a massive effect on your overall calorie balance, and puts you in a much better position to achieve your weight loss goals.

Add this extra movement on top of 2-3 total body strength training sessions per week to improve your shape & posture and your body composition will improve twice as fast.

NEAT is certainly a game changer, and a great way to monitor your levels of NEAT is through counting your steps through either your phone or watch (Fitbit, Apple Watch or similar).

Depending on your weight and intensity you walk at, completing 10,000 steps each day can burn anywhere from about 300 to 500 extra calories daily.

One pound (approx half a kilo) of body fat equals 3500 calories, so again, depending on your weight and NEAT intensity, you could lose up to one pound per week simply by completing 10,000 steps each day.

Add this to a well structured training program and your rate of body composition change could improve substantially assuming your nutrition is aligned with your goals.

Always remember - you can't walk away from a bad diet!!!

Here are a couple of simple ways you can increase your number of steps and overall NEAT in our daily routines to increase our rate of fat loss:

  • Try to take the stairs instead of the lift/escalator at work or while in shopping centres

  • Start to park that little further away from the supermarket

  • Begin to add in 30 minutes of walking to your daily routine a couple of times per week (especially on non-training days)

  • Use a standing desk if possible

  • Play with your kids

  • Squat down to take something out of the press

  • Walk and Talk

  • Dance like nobody is watching!!!

Bottom Line

We will do everything in our power to help you get the results you want and trust me - we will get there together.

However if you have a particular date in mind, and want results sooner rather than later, then increasing your NEAT can be the difference maker between success and failure when it comes to losing fat and getting lean.

P.s - It's not too late to join the step challenge. Simply click the facebook link below and join like minded people focused on moving more and getting healthier!

See you on the streets!

Niall "Move More" Mullen

Nikafit Studios


Levine, James. "Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): environment and biology." American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. no. E675-E685 (2004).

At Nikafit Studios we are dedicated to an excellent standard of small group personal training. At Nikafit we deliver our results based personal training programs, in a friendly but focused small group training setting, allowing our clients to receive elite level personal training at a fraction of the cost of a 1-on-1 personal training session. Nikafit’s semi-private personal training is focussed on the needs of our clients and the small group personal training coach to member ratio at Nikafit Studios allow the best service possible. At Nikafit we are changing lives through fitness.

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