How To Move More & Weigh Less
I struggled with how to make this blog sexy, exciting, and worth the read... I mean it's walking. We're talking about one foot in front of the other. So basic. So boring. Yet sooooooo underrated in so many ways... Let me share why.
Sitting/Sedentary lifestyle has been labeled the new age "smoking" by the American Heart Association.
A low-movement lifestyle is a fast killer.
Making sure we get a workout in multiple times a week is vital. That 60 minutes we dedicate to improving our fitness level is necessary to shape our bodies, make us stronger, and increase our overall well-being. BUT, what about the other hours in the day?
Our bodies were made to move, and the movement that we get thru the day matters greatly in our overall picture of health.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy that we burn with activity that is movement outside of 'exercise'. This is like walking, yard work, lifting kids, cleaning your home, etc.
Think of a Fed-Ex worker or a nurse, versus an office worker or someone who sits working from their desk all day.
There is a distinct difference in their overall energy expenditure. People who get more of this type of movement simply tend to weigh less and have better internal health than those who don't.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is an enzyme that plays a critical role in converting fat into energy. Remaining sedentary reduces levels of LPL. Conversely, using NEAT to move consistently throughout the day can help sustain LPL levels and help the body maintain its ability to burn fat.
I noticed that when I became a new mom and was buzzing around taking care of two boys in their first few years of life, I never sat down. I was constantly feeding them, changing them, bouncing them, strolling them, or cleaning either them or the house. My activity level was non-stop and so was my metabolism.
Once they both were in school and my time shifted to working more and sitting, my body changed. I was sitting to drive them places, sitting to help them with homework, and sitting to watch their sports activities.
I quickly realized I had to make a mindful shift to upping my movement to keep my body feeling and looking the way I wanted it to; lean & strong!
Low step count can be one reason that the scale might be slow moving UP, despite solid efforts in the gym. I see value in investing in a step tracker WITH a heart rate monitor. Fitbit and Apple watch are my favorites. I also found and tested a great intro Tracker from Amazon ($30) that can get you going to see how consistent your usage is prior to dropping more cash on a nice one. https://amzn.to/3Rg6z0C
Here are a few tips to Step up your Steps:
- Aim for 10K steps per day.
- Don't obsess over your daily step count, but use this data as feedback.
- Notice the difference in summer versus winter.
- Be mindful of parking at the back of the parking lot when shopping.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Use this time for listening to podcasts, learning on Audible, or easing stress with a guided meditation (one that you keep your eyes open of course).
- Take a midday after-lunch walk at work.
- Wind down in the evening with a post-dinner walk.
- Involve your kids and pets and everybody wins! Quality time, plus quality movement.
- Every step counts in getting and keeping your NEAT activity level high.
- OR, go high level like me and invest in a desk "walk pad," here is the exact one I bought for my office: https://amzn.to/3Hgwhxn
If losing weight and burning body fat is your primary goal, then just adding a 30 min walk to your daily routine can account for 3-4 lbs of weight loss per month, if you're eating a balanced nutrition plan!
Moving 10 thousand steps a day will ensure that you're always "keeping up" on your health journey versus needing to "catch up" once things get out of control!
*Disclosure: If you have followed me for even half a second, you know that I would rather chew on a cactus than sell my soul to make money off of you on a product I don't even like. And I know you are an intelligent woman (because you're reading my blog) but the FTC doesn't trust your intelligence. So here I am letting you know that when I suggest a product and provide a link that it may be an affiliate link...and I may receive a small commission at zero additional cost to you.