Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Training Terminology: NEPA

Non-Exercise Physical Activity (NEPA) - This term sometimes used for all non-exercise activity that burns calories, including everything from sleeping to breathing to moving around. For the purposes of this blog, however, we're talking deliberate activity done to burn calories that doesn't rise to the level of strenuous exercise.

What are some examples of NEPA? As long as it doesn't come up to the level of strenuous exercise, but it burns some extra calories, it's probably NEPA. Some easy examples are:

- a brisk walk
- taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- a non-intense jog or bike ride

So, I can just go for a brisk walk and lose some body fat? Not if that's all you are doing. When you're trying to burn fat, diet and strenuous exercise are key. No amount of extra walks here and there are going to replace hard training and eating properly. You can't walk off that cheesecake like it was never consumed and you can't park a few spaces further from the store and call it working your legs. But a lot of little activity can add up. Alwyn Cosgrove puts this down as his bottom ranked item in his Hierarchy of Fat Loss. It's a nice bonus but not the main factor driving fat loss. But still, when you're in fat-burning mode, every little bit helps. Plus, if you're already working hard - hitting the weights, doing intense cardio or interval training, or better yet all three, and you are in a caloric deficit (i.e. you eat less than you burn), this can help. What's more, it's not very stressful on your system, so you can still recovery from your circuits, weights, and intervals while getting a little extra burn in.

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