Can you fidget away fat?
We have already written about ‘incidental exercise’: how every little bit of movement across the day can help to burn energy and give our bodies the health benefits of fitness. Turns out, when we say little we really mean it: it seems natural fidgets have a head start!
Just breathing in and out, reading a wellness note, burns energy. So even when we are not exercising, and our body is on ‘idle’, our “basal metabolic rate” (BMR) is burning the energy required to maintain basic bodily functions: regulating body temperature, keeping the heart beating, breathing, digesting food. In fact, for many of us BMR accounts for about 2/3 of the total energy we burn. BMRs vary from person to person, but they can be disrupted for the worse by extreme calorie-controlled diets, if the body feels it is being starved and so needs to conserve energy. This is one reason why dieters eventually struggle to continue to lose weight or tend to regain lost weight.
Fighting fat by fidgeting: if you are a wriggle-bum, always jiggling your leg, tapping your heel, or even just a regular pen twirler, you’re burning energy; one study suggests such non-exercise movement could burn up to 350 calories a day! Of course, it’s not clear why some people fidget, while others don’t, or whether this is even a habit that can be picked up, but if you’re not a natural fidget then incidental exercise becomes all the more important.
Develop habits that can help: take the stairs instead of the elevator, set your phone alarm across the day to remind you to stand up and take a turn around the office – you know the drill. When it comes to wellness, every bit of movement counts. The fidgets have a head start, but this doesn’t stop anyone from catching them up!
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