Can Being Restless Help You Lose Weight
Can You Fidget Your Way To Fat Loss?
No matter how you try and dress it up with fad diets and expensive workout programs, losing weight and shedding the fat comes down to one thing and one thing only: how many calories we’re consuming vs. how many calories we’re burning.
And that’s exactly why every little bit of exercise counts – and this doesn’t only extend to heavy gym workouts.
From hoovering and gardening to walking the kids to school, all physical activity is good physical activity. In fact, something as insignificant as fidgeting can have a surprising impact on your physique.
Don’t believe us? Read on…
Are you a fidgeter?
Fidgeting basically encompasses all small movements of the hands, feet and body, and is often linked to excitement, anxiety and impatient. In short, we’re all guilty of fidgeting and some point, and we all know a serial fidgeter.
So what are the motives behind this often accidental physical activity?
Take kids – the perfect example of enthusiastic fidgeters. You’ll often hear exasperated parents trying to get their kids to sit still, and researches believe this is because their bodies have a fundamental desire to move and exert itself. And little changes from that point really – it’s thought that fidgeting is symptomatic of the body’s need to get up and move.
Fidgeting And Fat Loss
But does fidgeting really constitute exercise? And can it lead to fat loss?
Fat loss is all about calorie output, and in order for the body to deplete its fat cells, you need to be in a calorie deficit – in other words, getting rid of more than you’re putting in. The good news is that we’re always burning calories by fuelling the body, even when we’re asleep!
And then there’s non-exercise activity thermogenesis or (NEAT), other ways that the body burns fat that isn’t through exercise, eating or sleeping. And while the calories lost in this way by no means stack up to a decent cardio or weight training session, they can soon add up.
This goes some way to explaining, then, how keen fidgeters can burn up to ten times more calories a say than the average person.
It might not be surprising that those that are overweight are less likely to be active – and that includes fidgeting.
In fact, a study featured in Science revealed that unstructured movements like those conducted when fidgeting can burn as many as 350kcal per day. Another key finding here was that the desire to fidget is innate – some of us simply fidget more than others, and these people are more likely to be a healthy weight.
But that’s not all – a 2011 issue of Medicine and Science in Sport & Exercise highlighted a study whereby incidental physical activity positively correlated with both body mass and fitness levels. In other words, fitter people fidget more – and are likely to have a lower body mass too!
Fidgeting And Calorie Burn
So just how good is fidgeting for calorie burn? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition measured the energy use of 17 men and 7 women in a range of positions and postures, from lying still to walking on a treadmill.
The results showed that those in a seated position burned 3.5% more calories than those whose who were lying down – and 54% more calories when they fidgeted. What does this mean in real terms? Around a 600kcal loss per day just from fidgeting!
In short, fidgeting will see you burn twice as many calories as slow walking… What a result!!!
While getting down to the gym and putting some serious time in can’t be avoided if you’re looking to shed fat and lose weight, fidgeting can play a big role in increasing the amount of energy your body is expending.
So there’s only one thing for it – get fidgeting!!!