Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

physical activity


Why NEAT is helpful to lose weight and keep it off

00 Intro

If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off but you don´t like doing long sessions of steady state cardio and you don´t like HIIT neither then you need to continue reading.

NEAT – Non-exercise activity thermogenesis is all the physical activity we do every day that is not scheduled as exercise. If you go to the gym or exercise at home for 45 minutes doing some type of resistance workouts and other days you do long sessions of steady state cardio or HIIT then those do not count as NEAT.

Some examples of NEAT are cleaning, shopping, buying groceries, taking the stairs, walking from the parking lot to the entrance of your office, home, mall, it´s all about physically active throughout the day and not remain sitting on a chair or the couch for long periods of time. If you´re living a sedentary lifestyle then NEAT is very low and you need to find ways to increase physical activity daily this can be by going for a walk after lunch or dinner, if you remain sitting on a chair for long periods of time then every hour get up and go for a walk just a couple of minutes.

If weight loss is your goals then you know you need to be on a calorie deficit and NEAT makes that calorie deficit a lot easier, the more physical activity you can add each day the more calories you´ll burn so you see results faster (considering you´re on a calorie deficit and your metabolism and hormones are working properly). Energy expenditure has to be greater than the energy you take in from food so instead of creating a big deficit by lowering calories just increase activity.

NEAT not only helps you lose weight but it also helps you maintain optimal health, we all know that to maintain optimal health and a lean and fit physique we need to follow healthy habits and routines, one of these routines is to be more active every day. We know that being sedentary is unhealthy but technology has change our lifestyle making a lot of things easier for us so we developed this sedentary way of living, the problem is that we´re designed to move, to be active during the day.

You´ve probably hear this 10,000 steps as a tool for weight loss, this is a good strategy but not everyone is able to count and not everyone will be able to get 10,000 steps daily because of their job and in some cases this can lead to failure. Do not make it a priority to hit 10,000 steps every day, just make sure you find ways to increase physical activity.

Some activities that help you increase NEAT:

  • Walk your dog
  • Go for a walk after lunch and dinner
  • Walk while you´re talking on the phone
  • Clean your house
  • Wash your car
  • Take the stairs
  • Park farther from the entrance
  • Gardening
  • Spend more time standing

If you have a 9 to 5 job and spend most of the time sitting then you need to find ways to stand up, if you can get up every hour an walk for a couple minutes do it, if you can spend some time using a standing desk that´s also great, by being on your feet it´s easier to move around because you´re already standing. You can also take breaks, you can take 5 minute breaks every hour and do some stretches and walking, you can clean your desk every morning when you arrive or before leaving.

Let us know by leaving a comment below and on Twitter if you´ve tried to increase NEAT before or if you´re going to give it a try.

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The benefits of yoga


Have you ever done yoga? Do you hate, like it or love it?

There are those who love yoga and those who hate it. It´s amazing how though and challenging it can get and we cannot deny that it will give us an amazing workout.

Yoga is not my preferred type of exercise but I can´t deny that it has amazing benefits, I´ve practiced it for some months and I realized that the slow paced workouts and holding a pose for a number of seconds is not what I love to do in terms of exercise, it is though and challenging the part I liked about it was improving balance and how I need to be concentrated on what I do to maintain the pose, even when I love and prefer to lift weights and cardio I take one day a week to do yoga.

It´s true that yoga helps you improve flexibility, mobility and posture and it´s also an amazing exercise option for improving balance and reducing mental health problems.

The mind-body connections when you are doing any pose needs to be at point, you need to be really focused and center on what you are doing otherwise you´ll lose balance and fall off the pose you also need to get strong so that you can sustain your body weight in any pose and hold it.

Yoga workouts include meditation and breathing techniques that go hand in hand with the pose you are working on, all this combined encourage relaxation which is incredibly helpful to reduce stress it also helps to reduce depression, anxiety and improve mental health, the way yoga combines breathing, meditation and poses by creating harmony is what your bodies need to relax, calm down and stay in the present moment.

Yoga is not the same as stretching or calisthenics, even when you can use some of the exercises or poses from yoga as stretch exercises what gives yoga its plus is the breathing techniques, you can be stretching but if you don´t know how to breathe through the poses you´ll only be stretching, with yoga you learn to breathe and meditate, you are focused on your body, how your mind, body and soul connect is amazing you get in touch with yourself in a very deep level.

Yoga is a great way to get lean for people who doesn´t want to lift weights and do intense or long sessions of cardio and it´s also low impact, it is perfect for people who love a physical activity that is more calming but that increases strength so that they can looked lean and toned without getting bulky. This is why it´s so popular among girls and women.

I don´t know about any other type of exercise that combines physical activity with breathing techniques and meditation as a way to calm the mind and body, to relax us and lower stress while exercising. One way to improve anxiety and depression is to focus on yourself and to stay in the present moment not letting your mind wandering in the future or the past, yoga does this amazingly apart from breathing techniques and meditation during the workouts we need to be fully focus and present to maintain balance and hold the poses when we harmonize your body, mind, breathing, emotions is when we can start healing ourselves.

With all this blood pressure lowers, it keep all systems of our body like nervous system, immune system healthy, the hormones on our body are in balance, etc. so love it or hate it, it has amazing benefits not only to get in shape but for overall health. When your body is in synergy meaning when everything is connected and working in harmony that´s when you get the most benefits and the best results, not only how you look but also how you feel.

Yoga is one of those tools we all need to try al least once to see if you like it or not, it can be a great complement to any exercise program. Give it a try and let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment on Twitter.

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Why sitting is a disease


How much time do you spend sitting?

It doesn´t matter if it´s on the couch, in the car, at the office in front of a computer. How much time do you spend sitting each day?

One of the biggest problems we´re facing nowadays is the obesity epidemic, being obese or overweight or having some weight to lose leads to many other health problems and there are 2 culprits for this. Unhealthy diets and a sedentary lifestyle.

There are so many diets and so many different weight loss programs but obesity and overweight keep increasing. What frustrates me is that the industries keep making everything harder to keep you eating all the junk food and keeping you lazy while they keep making millions.

It´s actually really simple to lose weight, keep it off, improve your health and maintain optimal health and a healthy weight that considers body composition, it all comes down to eating the right foods, in the right amount at the right time and being more active throughout the day.

And I need to say that if you go to the gym or have some time of your day schedule to train, or work out it´s not enough.

The problem is sitting for too long, when you sit for too long the hormones, genes and systems in your body stop working properly, especially your metabolism and blood glucose. It´s obvious that the more time you spend sitting the less calories you´ll burn. So, if you are more sedentary because you spend too much time sitting and if you eat the wrong foods, at wrong time in the wrong amount then your body won´t work properly. This lead to metabolic disorders and it´s the cause of many health problems we´re seeing now that start with obesity, overweight, diabetes but it can get worse with problems like heart disease, dementia and cancer. Sitting for too long also leads to organ damage, spine damage, muscle loss, leg disorders, bad posture, short life span.

Many people think that by working out, going to the gym and doing some exercise there that´s all they need to stay in shape and maintain optimal health, this is wrong. Even when going to the gym and lifting weights has so many benefits that play a key role on optimal health and longevity and you´ll also look great and feel great that´s only one part. Going to the gym and lifting weights or doing some resistance training for one hour is great but it leaves you with 23 hours left and what you do on those 23 hours is also important.

Technology has done things easier, we want instant gratification, we want to be lean and healthy without any sacrifice but sadly this is not possible, we´re not designed to be sedentary, to spend long hours sitting and it´s causing a lot of damage to our body but, there are different options to increase physical activity but it all starts with you, being aware of how much you spend sitting and deciding to change that.

If you sit for longer than 60 minutes stand up and do some physical activity for a couple of minutes, you can walk, do some stretching, go up or down stairs. Also find ways to increase physical activity any chance you have by parking as far as possible from the entrance when you go shopping to the mall or groceries, from the entrance of your office or school, use the stairs instead or elevator, if you´re going a place nearby walk or use the bike.

Remember that your workouts are one part of this big puzzle of fitness but it doesn´t replace physical activity. And also remember that the longer you´re sitting the more damage you do to your metabolism and all other genes, hormones and systems of your body.

Tracking daily steps is a great tool to make sure that you´re active throughout the day. While some people argue the benefits of getting 10,000 steps all at once or dividing them into small walks throughout the day in my opinion it´s harder for all of us to schedule some time to get those 10,000 steps all at once and from what I´ve research and found and what I´m sharing on this post you don´t need to get 10,000 steps all at once, it´s better to spread them throughout the day. You don´t need to get obsessed by hitting 10,000 steps daily, use them as a guide, some days you may have more work to do and you may only get 8,000 steps, other days you may get more steps, the whole goal is to get more physical activity. So don´t get obsessed with getting 10,000 steps every single day, just make sure to get as close as possible and always keep in mind that the goal is to be more active and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

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How to start increasing physical activity


What you we do every single day is what we become, that daily routine creates our life. If we spend most of the time sitting then it will lead to all kind of negative results.

We all know that exercise is key for optimal health and weight loss, but we can not think about exercise just a something we need to do every day for a short period of time, we need to think about it as being more active throughout the day, finding ways to add more physical activity, the best way to do this is by walking, adding small, short walks is a great way to increase activity.

Most of us spend most time sitting in front of a computer on the couch, in the car and we have the bad habit of leaving the car as close as possible to the entrance wherever we go, if it´s at the mall. On the past years we´ve become very lazy, we don´t want to suffer, we want things fast and with the least work and effort possible from our part. This is a huge problem; this has caused so many health issues and we need to reverse that by increasing physical activity.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to increase physical activity throughout the day:

1.- Go for a walk every morning.- Every morning before having breakfast or before going to school or work go for a 10 to 15 minute walk.

2.- Go for a walk after dinner.- Every night right after dinner go for a walk, the moment you get up from the table go for a 10 to 15 minute walk before doing something else.

3.- Walk for a couple of minutes every 2 hours.- If you have a sedentary job try to get up and walk for 5 minutes every 2 hours, or walk 2 or 3 minutes every hour.

These steps may seem so simple but none of us do them, we are so busy that we don´t have time, so we rather stay in front of the computer checking social media or the news.

If you do want to improve your life you do have time to increase physical activity, instead of looking at your phone every 10 minutes focus on the work you actually need to finish for one hour straight and then take a rest by walking. Checking social media, your phone or the news every hour don´t give you any positive outcome but, if you stop checking your phone, social media and the news and you focus on what you need to get done you´ll be more productive then you take a rest mentally by walking and then you concentrate on the next activity.

Increasing physical activity improves your health and your entire life, it´s not only about losing weight, it´s about keeping it off while maintaining optimal health and you´ll get all the benefits that lead to having a better day, increasing performance and on the long run you live a better life.

We all have time we can use to go for small walks, if you can´t get out and go for a walk you can stand up and stretch, sitting leads to many health problems and stretching has so many benefits, just by standing up and stretch for a couple of minutes improves posture and gives your mind a rest from what you´re doing.

Even when you do need to schedule one hour 4 or 5 days a week for a resistance exercise routine you still need to stay as active as possible throughout the day, resistance exercise helps you build and maintain muscle and it´s also important for maintaining strength and optima health while staying active throughout the day helps you burn calories so that you can sustain your weight loss results and also maintain optimal health.

If you´re struggling to find ways to increase physical activity let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter, we´ll be glad to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.



Why walking is great

00 Intro

When it comes to exercise most people on the industry make everything harder than it actually is, you may have seen this. If you´ve tried to lose weight you may have found different exercise routines with so many different exercises, long and boring sessions of cardio or intense intervals and you end up hating exercise. One of the secrets to lose weight, keep it off, maintain optimal health and live an long and healthy life is walking.

We can´t deny the fact that nowadays we´re a lot more sedentary than a few years ago, we spend too much time sitting, we´ve become lazy and as we reduce the amount of physical activity we increased the amount of unhealthy foods we eat and with this health problems like obesity, overweight and chronic diseases increased too.

When it comes to cardio people think about it as the best tool for weight loss and they think about steady state cardio which we´ve talked about it in another post (click here to read about it) where you do a certain activity for long periods of time, some people like to go to a park nearby and jog or cycle for 45 to 60 minutes. Others prefer to go to the gym and use a cardio machine for those 45 to 60 minutes.

For most of us it´s hard to schedule 45 to 60 minutes of cardio every day plus some days of resistance exercise, you need to realize that daily physical activity is key so you need to make cardio a daily habit. The good point about this is that you don´t need to go to a gym and use a machine and you don´t need to go to a park nearby, you don´t need to schedule 45 or 60 minutes for a long cardio session.

Walking is one of the best types of exercise you can do every single day to lose weight, maintain your results and maintain optimal health, here are so many reasons and benefits for walking every day:

  • Improves your heart health
  • Improves overall health
  • Improves your lungs
  • Burns calories
  • Improves your mood
  • Reduce stress
  • It´s sustainable
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • It´s convenient
  • It´s low impact

A 10 to 15 minute walk after a meal helps lower blood glucose as a 45 minute walk. For most of us is really hard to get 45 minutes and go for a long walk, and it´s impossible to stick to those 45 minute walks all at once for long periods of time, is really hard to make those long walks a habit, but we can take a 15 minute walk first thing in the morning and after dinner. It´s easier for most of us to get 30 minutes of physical activity just by walking first thing in the morning and after dinner. Since they are short we see them as small challenges we can really accomplish. 10 to 15 minute walks are easier to do and convenient, this set you in the right mindset and it doesn´t matter where you´re at you can get them done.

Being active throughout the day is one of the ways to improve overall health and maintain a healthy weight, sitting for too long leads to health problems and also gain weight so by taking 2 or 3 walks throughout the day or finding ways to stand up is helpful. If you work a 9 to 5 office job and you can get up every couple hours and walk for 2 or 3 minutes it will have a huge positive impact.

Start today taking 2 walks a day, you can start after dinner and get everything ready for tomorrow, there´s no reason to overcomplicate things when you got everything you need to change your life for the better, just follow the simple steps and tips we share with you on this site. If you have any doubts, questions or there´s something you want to know let us know by leaving it down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.



How exercise helps you lose weight


When you´re starting a new journey that you know will be hard because it involves some type of effort and time then you´re doing everything harder.

When you are struggling with your weight and you´ve been sedentary for years then any type of exercise or physical movement will be hard. The more weight you have to lose the harder it is, your body hurts, you feel tired and the moment you start walking or doing something you get out of breathe. But you do know that exercise or physical movement is important.

Exercise helps you lose weight by burning calories but it needs to be done correctly and it´s a priority to keep that weight off which is the real challenge, this means you need to develop good healthy habits and you need to make sure you´re exercising the right way. For exercise the points you need to consider are frequency and consistency, this means you need to be disciplined. You can´t just exercise once or twice a week and want to get results, you can´t do 3 or 4 hours one day and rest 5 days and expect to get results. You need to exercise every day. The more active you can be throughout the day the better.

Yes, you need to challenge yourself and get uncomfortable, but it´s not about suffering and wanting to do more than the next guy or wanting to get results as fast as possible. Focus on what you can do today and make sure that every day you´re making progress.

I know you have heard the most famous advice for weight loss “eat less – move more”. This is easier said than done and unfortunately this advice in incomplete, but it still plays a role on helping you achieve your goal.

We can´t deny the fact that to lose weight you need to be on a calorie deficit meaning you need to eat less. Exercise is a great tool to make that calorie deficit possible, when you exercise your body needs energy and that energy comes in the form of calories so when you exercise or do some physical activity your body is burning calories and if you´re eating less (we´re going to talk about this in a future post) you´ll lose weight. But there are some caveats to this. If it was this simple, then obesity and overweight wouldn´t be a problem and you won´t be reading this post.

The type of exercise or physical activity you do, how you do it and how much you do it will all have an impact on your results. Our goal is to use exercise as a tool to improve your health and lose weight (at least for now). I need to mention a point really quick, health is always a priority, in many cases being obese or overweight is a symptom caused by health problems so if you focus on improving your health you´ll lose weight.

Most of us are very sedentary so increasing physical activity is key to improving your health, this includes lungs, heart and brain and it helps you burn calories the important point to consider is that if you´re struggling with your weight, you feel tired and your body hurts you won´t want to do any crazy routines and you can´t so what you need to do is start by taking small walks.

As I mentioned before the points you need to consider is frequency and consistency so you need to develop the habit of exercising every day, the best exercise is the one you like and enjoy doing every day, this does not means that you need to go to the gym every day or do the same type of exercise every single day, what it means is that you need to find activities, sports, or exercises you enjoy doing and do them daily, keep changing them and make them fun and challenging. You do not need to go for 45 or 60 minute workouts once a day , you can divide those 45 minutes into 10 or 15 minutes a couple times a day especially if you spend most of the time sitting. Every 2 or 3 hours get up and take a walk. You can also dance or jump rope.

If it´s so hard for you to do any physical activity start by taking 5 minute walks 3 times a day, go for a 5 minute walk when you wake up before breakfast, take another 5 minute walk right after dinner and find a time during your day for the 3rd one. Do this a couple of weeks every day and let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter how you feel.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.