A Habit For Exercise Without Going to the Gym 🌱

[NEAT, Not Tidy]



Definition: Dissipation of energy through the production of heat by physiological processes.

Today we are talking about NEAT. No, not the tidy kind of neat.

I know you have a jam-packed schedule, and while cardio and strength training are important aspects of fitness, some days, you simply don’t have time for a structured workout.

More gym time better fitness.

In 2022, I was spending 2 hours at the gym 6x per week. I didn’t think much about my daily step count, but I averaged 6-7k per day.

In 2023, I switched to 1 hour at the gym or workout class 3-4x per week and set a goal of 10k steps per day.

I have never been in better shape, physically and mentally.

I walk 1-mile before breakfast every day which helps me start my day with a clear mind, relaxed body, and contributes to my step goal.

Your body is not designed for prolonged periods of inactivity.

Lack of movement can have serious implications on your work performance and overall health. In an era where sedentary lifestyles are the norm, the role of physical activity - besides traditional exercise - is often overlooked.

You don't need to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of physical activity.

Physical activity is more than just gym sessions and structured workouts. The secret to better health is hiding in plain sight.


Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT, is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise.

  • Walking to your office

  • Taking the stairs

  • Pacing while on a call

These seemingly trivial movements contribute to significant energy expenditure.

One of the most effective ways to improve your health might be through 'incidental physical activity'.

Research indicates that NEAT activities play a crucial role in improving cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.


Studies have shown that regular physical activity, even of low intensity, can enhance cognitive function, improve mood, and reduce stress levels.

Frequent movement breaks can help clear your mind, reduce fatigue, and energize you, leading to better decision-making.


Why habits? Your time is valuable and limited; you don’t need more complex systems. My goal is to provide you with simple, effective tools to support your physical and mental well-being and make you more efficient and conserve mental energy. (read more)

Make a conscious effort to move more in your everyday tasks.

Step 1: Set a step goal

Pick a realistic goal that you can stick to.

I picked 10k steps because I noticed I was consistently getting 6-8k a day. I knew 10k would involve conscious effort but not be too challenging or stressful.

Step 2: Move every hour

  • Stand

  • Stretch

  • Pace while on a call

Step 3: Opt for movement

  • Choose stairs over the elevator

  • Walk to the farther bathroom

  • Use a walking pad or balance ball


In every edition of Creatures of Habit, I feature a product to help you implement this week’s habit.

I recently got a walking pad. BEST purchase in a long time. Not only do I get more steps throughout the day, but I also feel more creative and less distracted while using it.

The one I bought: Sharewin Walking Pad


This week, challenge yourself to incorporate a NEAT activity into every hour of your day. This can be anything from walking to the end of the hallway and back to using a balance ball as your chair.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

- Jim Rohn

Until next week!

- Jenna Gestetner :)

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