It is said of President George Washington that visitors to his office remained standing throughout their meeting. This sign of deference may seem strange to us, accustomed as we are to seeing our president in shirtsleeves and open collars. But, little did they know that Washington was just being a good chief executive helping to keep his subordinates fit and healthy!
Washington was practicing a tactic that today's smart weight watchers use to maximize what is called N.E.A.T, or non-exercise associated thermogenesis. This technical term means nothing more than the calories we burn everyday outside the gym.
Walking around the office, chatting at the coffee machine, pushing the cart in the grocery store, shoveling snow, or taking the dog for a walk can increase the calorie burn you need to stay in calorie deficit.
That is, to burn more calories than you consume, which is the only sure way to lose weight. NEAT activities can add up to 350 calories burned a day. Just the edge you need!
So, the first president, "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen," was also first in promoting wellness.
Standing, it is calculated, burns twice as many calories as sitting, so the next time you hear the phone, stand up to answer it.
Here are some other NEAT tricks to maximize calorie burn:
- Walk fast while doing errands
- Take stairs instead of escalators
- Stay on your feet walking the sidelines at our childen's basketball game
- Walk over to talk to a colleague in the office instead of sending an email
- Take the wheels off your luggage.
Explore this topic further and find more NEAT tricks by clicking here. And if you want to get in shape to carry your luggage instead of dragging it, stop by the local YMCA and ask to speak to a personal trainer.
YMCA Workout Schedule
Click here for the group exercise schedule at the YMCA of Montclair, located at 25 Park St. The YMCA is open Mondays through Friday between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The Geyer Family YMCA, located at 159 Glenridge Ave., is open Mondays through Thursdays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., and Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.