top of page

Episode 30: Increase Your NEPA.

Description: Park further away. Take the stairs. Go talk to the person.

Listen Now:


Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self-Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren, and this is episode 30 of our fourth season, which still just blows my mind. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. This week's invitation is to increase our NEPA. Increase our NEPA, N-E-P-A. You know, as educators, we love, we love an acronym. So, here's a new acronym for you. NEPA, N-E-P-A, which stands for Non Exercise Physical Activity. Non exercise physical activity, in other words, this is increasing our just general movement, but it's not something that we would call like doing a workout, right? We don't want it.

It's not something that feels like exercise. It's just moving more. There's a lot of research and articles that talk about how we don't do ourselves a whole lot of favors when we get in a really hard workout for an hour, but then we spend most of our day just sedentary, right? We know how important it is for us to move more. And, in fact, if we think about when we add like true exercise, adding additional cardio, a couple of things can happen. We can end up eating more because we feel like we deserved it. And/or, we ended up eating more because we are more hungry, because we added more exercise. So, it's kind of this, this slippery slope. So, this is not ...

This week's invitation is not about, you know, adding more formal exercise. It's just thinking about how can we move? So, you know, we've, we've heard these, these before. Can we park further away? It's just, it's so ... I do it too, but it is so funny to me when I watch someone circle and circle and circle around a parking lot to find the closest spot. And, meanwhile, they could have already been in the store and gotten what they needed, right? So, parking a little bit further away. My colleague, Tim Kanold has kind of a rule for himself that if he can take the stairs, he will always take the stairs. And, I love that. I've started adopting that as often as I can to even just standing up and moving around.

And, I know many of, many of you as listeners are teachers, and you're probably moving around a lot, but I got, we got a whole lot of, of people joining us from all different fields. And so, maybe your day feels a little bit more sedentary. I know oftentimes administrators, it's kind of a shift when they go from moving around a lot as a teacher, and then a little bit less movement, especially in days where they've got like long, long meetings, meetings. Long district meetings. I don't miss those. And, it just when our job kind of shifts. So, that's what I want us to think about this week is increasing our NEPA, our non exercise physical activity. And, a way to kind of think about this is to pay attention to the steps that you take in a day. Many of you have Apple watches or Fitbits or garments or you can download an app on your phone that can serve as a pedometer to just give you kind of a sense of your steps, which is, can be a good indication of your movement.

I know it's, it's not a direct correlation because sometimes just standing up and stretching can be good, just moving our bodies, and it wouldn't necessarily register on our pedometer, but it's kind of a good baseline to just, you know, it's always good to know where we're starting, and then see if we can just increase it a little bit more, or you can just kind of keep track on on paper old school. You know, that's my favorite of just how many times you move within an hour or a half hour? I don't know whatever works for you. Just see if you can consciously go out of your way this week to just move a bit more. Park further away, take the long way to go check your mailbox rather than sending an email. Get up and go talk to the person. If you are on the phone, walk while you're on the phone, have a standing or walking meeting. Just lots of ways that we can just nudge ourselves to moving a little bit more.

And then, the key is, do you notice a difference? Do you feel better when you move more? Does it help you sleep? Does it help with any sort of anxiety that you might feel? Does it change your mood? I suspect that you'll find some positive correlations like I have when I've been working to increase my NEPA. I know days that I don't move a lot. Oh, I just feel so sluggish. and exhausted, right? And, the irony is that when we move more, we're actually less exhausted. And, that's a good thing. That's a good thing. So, that's what I want you to think about this week. Your NEPA. NEPA, NEPA, NEPA. Maybe that's what you write on your wrist, or put it on a sticky note. Put a little reminder on your phone, something to help nudge you towards making sure that you're moving a bit more. I'm cheering so hard for you. Make it a great week.

As always, we're so grateful for you, Brooke. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Solution Tree. Thank you, Marzano Resources. And, of course, thank you for listening, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. Feel my hand on your back. I'm cheering so hard for you. Make your week incredible.

203 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page