Leaving Behind the Sedentary Lifestyle

I’m a bit scared right now because I’m starting a new program tomorrow.

For some reason, I take it a lot more seriously than the “challenges” I set for myself last year. I feel I was just warming up for the real feat!


The program I’m going to follow is the 8-week N.E.A.T plan outlined in James Levine’s book Move a Little, Lose a Lot. The idea is to increase  your daily NEAT activity (= non-exercise activity) and lose the extra pounds in the process.

The eventual goal is to have 135 minutes of NEAT activity every day, which – by the way – is the difference between obesity and normal weight.

The NEAT Plan in a Nutshell

The plan consists of basic concepts like  NEAT Feet, NEAT Beat and NEAT Treats (!). Every day you gain from one to six points depending on how many of the daily assignments you complete. Every two weeks you can reward yourself (NEAT Treat) if you get 75% of the max number of points.

The most important part of the plan is NEAT Feet. The program prescribes three 20 minute walks every day. It’s very important to take several separate walks, because sitting for hours on end is poison to your health. Walking for an hour a day and then staying put for the rest of the day is cheating.

NEAT Beats are activities that are supposed to activate you mentally, like going to a museum or drawing your dream life.

I have actually already done my first beat task: I got myself a NEAT plant I put on my desk at home. Because I’m not a plant person, I got myself a bamboo shoot because I heard it’s “indestructible”. We’ll see.


In a nutshell, every day has it’s  NEAT Feet and Beat prescription. The plan is progressive, meaning that it starts easy and gets gradually more difficult.

Defining Your NEAT Dreams

To set the ground for the new lifestyle, we had to define our neat dreams, ie. what it is we want to achieve with the new physically active lifestyle.  I came up with three things:

  1. In my dream life, I wake up every morning full of energy and eager to start the day’s work.
  1. In my dream life, I’m healthy, strong and physically active. Because I take care of myself, I needn’t be overly afraid of the pains, aches and diseases that come with the sedentary lifestyle.
  1. In my dream life, I’m able to buy fitting clothes that are a match to my personality.

In my first day, I’m supposed to be on my feet 3 x 20 minutes, eat a fruit at the breakfast and get a NEAT plant (which I have already done).

Wish me luck!




  1. Consider yourself wished(with all the luck you need &/or want)

  2. Satu says:

    Thanky you for your encouragement, Robert. My first day was easy, but that was just the first day! 🙂

  3. I found this really interesting and would love to hear how you’re doing! Love the 135 minutes of NEAT! Very cool!

  4. Satu says:

    Thanks for visiting, Joyce! Not that at least two people are following me, I have no other possibility than to persist. 🙂

    I will try to post about my first week tomorrow.

  5. Thanks for tip about the NY Times article “Can Exercise Keep You Young”. Food for thought .

    • Satu says:

      Hi Robert!

      That article is one of my recent favorites!

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