Workout Wednesday

Image source:
Which business professional is practicing NEAT?

Do you think there are not enough hours in a day to exercise?

Do the words “I don’t have time to go to the gym” sound familiar?

Time is not an excuse.

Terry Echmann, PhD, provides effective tools to help you reach your physical goals and establish new neural connections. These tools focus on N.E.A.T.

What is N.E.A.T.?

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which includes the calories burned simply ‘living life’: walking to work, fidgeting, typing, chewing gum, folding clothes, washing dishes, and running errands, as examples. Sleeping, eating, and sports are not included. 

Are you a sedentary individual with an overwhelming fear of increasing your activity level?

Start small.

Create “mini habits” that act as stepping stones to an active lifestyle.

While performing NEAT activities can burn approximately 150 calories a day, the brain also benefits from these small, simple movements. Every move enable our muscles to produce proteins that travel through the bloodstream and into the brain to strength its function.

Quick Brain Booster Exercises to Perform While Standing

  • Flex from side to side while standing, with arms overhead to increase range of motion.
  • Stretch the chest by clasping the hands behind the back and looking up. Inhale while stretching, and exhale on the release. Repeat several times.
  • Perform squats and lunges.
  • March while standing, feet close to the ground or with high knees.
  • March while seated.
  • Stand on one leg, shoulders stacked over hips, core engaged, knee lifted.

Quick Brain Booster Exercises to Perform While Seated

  • Wiggle or tap the toes and fingers while watching television or sitting at a desk.
  • Stand up and sit down at least once every 10–20 minutes (every 5–10 minutes if possible); this boosts metabolism and strengthen the glutes and quads.
  • Stand up and roll the shoulders up and back, one at a time and together.
  • After keyboarding for 5–10 minutes, stop and make circles with both wrists. Open and close the fingers, making a “starfish.” Repeat.
  • If you’ve been sitting awhile and you’re feeling sleepy or your back is tight, stand up and reach your hands to the opposite elbows behind your back. Look right and left.
  • While sitting in a meeting with your legs beneath your desk, subtly lift one leg at a time. Do this several times; then, as you lift, point your toes to the ground and, as you lower, point the toes up.

For more research and other NEAT activities, please refer to “Teach Clients This Smart Way to Move” in the online IDEA Library or the September 2017 print edition of IDEA Fitness Journal.






Eckmann, T. (2017). Teach clients the smart way to move. IDEA Fit Tips. v16, i1. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: