"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment" ~ Oprah
I recently returned from IDEA Personal Trainer Institute in Alexandria, Virginia a few days ago. While traveling across the country wasn't much fun, the time, energy and moolah were well worth it to help get the creative juices flowing. And, as a fitness professional, regularly sharing in the exchange of cutting edge information with researchers and fellow fitness experts helps in the perfecting of the craft so that we can offer the best possible training and programming.
Among the most interesting lectures I attended was one given by one of my favorite presenters, researcher Len Kravitz, Ph.D. His presentation reviewed the latest research on calorie burning and the metabolism. According to accumulated research, people who lost >10% of initial body weight in 24 months are doing 275 minutes of physical activity per week. This means 275 is the magic number for losing weight! Keep in mind, this is actual workout time and does not include warm up time.
Dr. Kravitz also discussed NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, a fancy term for spontaneous physical activity that accumulates as a part of your normal daily routine. It's one of the ideas behind the recommendations to take the stairs whenever possible and to park further away from store entrances when shopping. Basically, you can accumulate health-promoting activity time by moving more during the day and sitting less.
According to a NEAT study conducted by Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, James Levine and colleagues, lean people spend a daily average of 150 fewer minutes sitting than obese individuals do. In terms of weight management, these findings have tremendous implications when you consider that ALL human movement REQUIRES the usage of calories. Whether you're exercising, doing household chores, running errands, or tapping your foot, every time your muscles flex, your caloric needs are that much higher than if you remained still and sedentary.
Keep in mind that while good for general health, less than 150 minutes per week has very little effect where it comes to weight loss. It's good for general cardiovascular health as well as weight management (maintenance once the desired weight has been reached), but more active time per week is necessary for weight loss.
Live. Learn. Move. Thrive!