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The Thin and the Restless

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Have you ever noticed that sometimes your friends who fidget the most are the thinnest? Studies have shown that there is something to be said for The Thin and the Restless.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis, otherwise known as NEAT, can help rev up your metabolism even if your are simply fidgeting in your chair or chewing gum.
These researchers found that people who fidget, pace and chew gum and compared them to those of us who sit quietly and calmly and have found that this type of physical hyperactivity can burn more calories throughout the day than the rest of us.

Mostly I write about achieving life goals, overcoming emotional road blocks and self-defeatist thinking in relation to weight management. But other, lesser topics catch my attention as well.

A few Michael Jackson aficionados might remember Michael Jackson's oldest son chewing gum throughout his father's funeral ceremony. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was using this tool to keep himself from fidgeting or crying.

I like the idea that gum-chewing has benefits beyond fresh breath, but let's be honest. Gum chewing is more appropriate on the baseball mound than in many other situations.

For example, here are some Bad Gum Combos

1. Gum and Hair
2. Gum and Sleeping -- See #1 as this ties in with the gum/hair combo. My mom brainwashed us into thinking we could choke to death if we fell asleep with gum in our mouth but the real truth is that she got tired of cutting the wad out of our bangs the next morning.
3. Gum and Sand. Anyone who's ever grinded into the chill-inducing sensation of sand in gum knows it only take one grain to ruin a good piece of gum, not to mention that there is nowhere to dispose of gum on the beach.
4. Gum and Tin Foil. Remember back when we only had Wrigley's? and it came in a foil wrapper? Well if you, like me, misplaced a pack of gum in the car for the entire summer (or found it in an old purse perhaps), then, since you were feeling lucky,were daring enough to give it a chew, the foil sometimes was reluctant to peel away, thus the God-Awful spike of raw tooth nerve on tinfoil.
5. Gum and Singing. You can try it but don't be surprised if it goes flying on the high notes.
6. Gum and Hot Tea -- this becomes a melted mouth mess.
7. Gum and Ice Water -- Opposite of melted mouth mess.
8. Gum and Kids Under Ten. It is not that they aren't responsible chewers. They are just not responsible thrower-awayers. They don't bother with hiding it under the table or chair or rolling it in the original wrapper like any good mother does. Trust me on this and just make those toddlers spit it right into your hand. It's better than... well, see #9 and #10.
9. Gum and Hot Sidewalks -- This is always from a kid under 10.
10. Gum on Car Seat -- As well as it's ugly cousin Gum on your Rear End from sitting in the Gum on the Car Seat -- It's a kid every time. It falls out and their mouth doesn't know it's gone.
11. Gum and Sex -- It just not romantic. Although if you are a prostitute, I think it is probably okay.

And finally my biggest gum combo/pet peeve.

12. Gum and Holy Communion -- My mom used to hand us kids a stick of Wrigley's gum on the car ride to church every Sunday, perhaps to keep us from fidgeting. I still enjoy a discreet stick if the sermon is making me sleepy but then comes the dilemma, halfway down the aisle to receive communion. What to do? I cannot hold it in my hand since I must present both palms face up to receive the Body That's Been Broken For Me. What Would Jesus Do??

This led me to think of the Good Gum Combos:

1. Chewing Gum While The Plane Is Landing -- This is the one exception where you can allow kids to chew gum, especially if it keeps them from screaming.
2. Chewing gum and Driving
3. Chewing Gum and Baseball -- It's better than the big tobacco chew Sparky Lyle used to pack.

What does this have to do with fitness?

Chewing gum contributes to Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis, which helps rev up your metabolism, which I think is NEAT.