6 min read

Issue 39: Beep beep, have you moved yet today?

Issue 39: Beep beep, have you moved yet today?

Hi there nesstie,

In the Before Times, I’d naturally move around by virtue of necessity. Down three flights of stairs and across the street to my favorite coffee shop, a few blocks to the train station to get to work, a little further for my gym, half a mile to the grocery store.

But I’m still not comfortable regularly sweating inside a gym, I make coffee from home every day, get weird-looking produce delivered to our door, and my commute from my bed to my kitchen table is 22 steps (I counted).

That’s no “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” (“NEAT” for short), or energy spent on anything that isn’t sleeping, eating, or working out. Getting some daily NEAT is important because our bodies aren’t designed to remain largely static until you squeeze in a high-intensity workout, and then return back to said static. You need those little bursts of movement woven throughout your day, things that you might’ve naturally phased out in favor of more pandemic-friendly (and responsible!) routines.

In the absence of regular in-person errands and commutes, be more intentional about getting your cute butt up. Take your calls while pacing your apartment, get a dance party in while your coffee is brewing, stretch for a few after you do your dead-eyed wave at the end of a Zoom meeting, create a commute (that can simply be a walk to nowhere before your workday starts).

I’ve always liked setting a few dedicated alarms that remind me to move, even before I knew what NEAT was (which was about two hours before I wrote this). The alarms snap me out of work mode—when my only activated muscles are my brain and my click clack fingers. They look like this:

Figure out what your NEAT movements look like, and feel free to call them whatever you want if you don’t want to sound like the nerd from an ’80s movie.

Set your own qt alarms,

Melanie, editor at The Nessie

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