Wellness Wednesdayskute

  • Wonderful Wellness Wednesday All!

    This week I wanted to share some information about applying NEAT (Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis) activities into your health and wellness regiment. NEAT activities help boost metabolism and cognitive function. These brain boosters can be used to improve brain health and increase metabolism.

    Let’s take a closer look at exactly what NEAT encompasses. NEAT represents the calories burned while living life; walking around a store, fidgeting, typing, chewing gum, folding clothes, washing dishes, running earned, etc. NEAT activities are the small numbers calculated in what is called TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditures) which are simply the number of calories burned during the day including all physical activity and food digestion.
    Prolonged sitting deactivates the brain and lowers metabolism. Thus, limited physical activity and low levels of mental stimulation and the absence of socialization have a detrimental effect on the human brain over time.

    There are number of activities that can boost NEAT while strengthening the brain. Physical activity, mental simulation, and socialization are key components to growing the trees of our mind by creating new neurons and dendrites.

    Some of the benefits of NEAT Activities:

    • Improve Mood
    • Boots levels of key neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine
    • Decrease levels of cortisol
    • Help in effectively managing stress
    • Strengthen the Corpus Callosum (band of neural fibers connecting the two hemispheres of the brain)

    Here is one NEAT Activity I am going to leave you with to practice. This one uses breathing techniques found in Yoga. The practice of yoga can improve metabolism, breathing capacity and cardiovascular reserves. This helps to reduce anxiety and improve focus. Follow this short breathing practice to re-energize the brain and body.

    Breath Work

    • Develop a 6-second breath cycle to get 10 breaths per minute. Inhale for 2 seconds, hold for 1 second, exhale for 2 seconds, hold for 1 second. Repeat.
    • Practice alternate-nostril breathing. Gently close the opposite nostril, alternating thumb and ring fingers. Inhale through the right nostril; exhale through the left; inhale L; exhale R.
    • Practice double breathing. Sit upright, palms in thighs. Inhale twice through the nose and then the mouth, relaxing the muscles. Repeat several times.
    • Bee’s breath releases mental tension and/or reduces anger. Close the ears with the index and middle fingers, inhale deeply and hum during the exhalation (think buzzing bee).
    • Experience the therapeutic, calming effects of the three-part breath. From a comfortable position, with neutral spine. Inhale and exhale through the nose. Expand the belly, ribs and chest (in that order). Slowly exhale relaxing the chest, ribs and belly (like a wave).

    Give these breathing exercises a try as well as be sure to get up and stay active in Mind, Body, and Spirit!

    Until next week! Stay in Wellness!

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