Diet vs Exercise: Is One Better than the Other?
In today’s fast paced world of busy schedules and limited time, many people think that they must choose between dieting and exercising in order to lose weight or stay healthy. This self-imposed choice has created a debate that is still being discussed by physicians and fitness experts in all areas. A common solution is a small amount of physical activity to counter the occasional diet slip-up. But is this really the best solution for you and your health?
In addition to the obvious physical benefits that come from exercising, such as more energy and a better physique, there are numerous health-related reasons. Being active will lower your risk of countless diseases and conditions. Lower cholesterol and blood pressure, stronger immune system, and less stress are just a small sample of what you will achieve with an exercise program. Without movement, muscles fall victim to atrophy. When those muscles age, they stop working as efficiently, leading to a variety of pains and illnesses. And this does not just refer to your biceps, triceps, and abdominals. The heart is the most important muscle in the human body, and exercising your cardiovascular system keeps your heart beating strong. Physical fitness is not a new concept or a difficult one to understand. Nothing can grow, develop, or improve unless it is consistently worked or challenged. That is where exercising becomes vital in maintaining a quality level of life and fitness. Even if physical appearance is not enough motivation for you, know that exercise is necessary for longevity, and who doesn’t want to live longer? Exercise does not have to be a major lifestyle change. Simply make the effort everyday to move more – take the stairs, park far away from the store, dance when you hear a song you like, walk during lunch break, and do simple exercises while watching television for 15-20 minutes each night. The more you move, the more energy you’ll have to keep moving.
It is unfortunate when a person who works out on a regular basis consumes food that is counter-productive to a healthy lifestyle. A diet of unnatural, unhealthy foods and beverages forces your body to work twice as hard during workouts, and actually works against your physical efforts. Unlike exercise, which is something you can choose to do or not, eating is a daily necessity. Why not adopt a quality diet that compliments your exercise? Your diet will depend on your individual goals, whether they are to lose weight and be toned, or to build muscle. Building and strengthening your muscles is actually one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. You cannot expect your body to function at optimal levels and burn fat if you do not take the initiative to assist it. Many diets that are designed for fat loss will leave people feeling tired or sluggish, because their bodies are not receiving the proper nutrients or activity. After all, what good is looking great if you lack the energy to participate in your favorite activities? Psychologically, being worn down can have a negative effect on your mood, outlook, or self esteem. These things will remain positive when you have the energy required to accomplish your goals. Concentrate on a healthy diet, rather than one that will speed weight loss, which comes naturally with improved health. Eat a lot of nutritious, plant-based foods, and ensure that your meats are lean and of reasonable portions (about the size of a deck of cards). Boost your fiber intake, and reduce salts and sugars.
The Debate Continues
The truth about dieting vs. exercise is that it is anti-progressive to do one without the other, because they both work to enhance the other. Today, there are a variety of ways to exercise even on the most limited schedules. A frequent excuse for excluding physical fitness is obesity. In these cases, any movement is a challenge, and dieting might seem like the only option. But if moving presents a challenge, it is the best place to start. It is up to you to determine your resistance level, whether it’s walking across the room, running for one mile, or training with weights for 30 minutes. Work with your doctor or personal trainer to create the right balance of diet and exercise, and make the choice to enjoy your life through both of them each and every day. Sources: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13821677/ http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/exandwtloss.html http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=2678