Better Eating vs. Exercise – Do You Really Need Both?

By Paisley Hansen

September 29, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

When people are trying to get healthy, there are two main ways in which they generally go about doing it: through diet, or through exercise. In fact, when we think healthy lifestyle, we think of something based around those two subjects. While both are necessary in order to live a completely healthy lifestyle, many people are keen to extol the virtues of one over the other.

However, there is one simple truth that no amount of exercising or dieting will erase: in order to live a truly healthy lifestyle, you cannot have one without the other. Sure, you might go to the gym every day, working your body to its limits, but if you are combining that with a diet of fast food and candy, you will not have the kind of success that you are looking for.

The same goes for dieting. A good diet can go a long way towards dictating your general health, but a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least a couple of times a week, if not everyday, is something that every healthy person needs.

Why You Adopt Lifestyle and Do Away With Dieting

Dieting historically is known for eating good for a period of time. This is a dangerous way of thinking. Health eating should be something you strive for as long as you live. If you stick to just just diets, you’ll eventually be back to where you started. Focus on the lifestyle, the diet will work in the season there of, but will fade like all diets do.

The Importance of Both Lifestyle and Exercise

So let’s for a minute say that you are either living a healthier lifestyle or working out. What is your objective? You might be trying to lose weight, maybe you have a health condition such as diabetes or high cholesterol. For any of these goals, you will not achieve much without at least a little bit of regular exercise. Likewise, if you are working out to lose weight or to bulk up, or maybe to increase your fitness. As any professional trainer will tell you, you will not accomplish any of these fitness goals if you are following your workout with a terrible diet. No matter which way you look at it, there is no denying it; exercise and healthy lifestyle are like peanut butter and jelly, you should never have one without the other.

The Keys to a Good Healthy Lifestyle

Again, your diet should largely depend on what sort of objective you are trying to reach. If you are trying to bulk up for example, your diet will differ greatly to that which you might eat if you are trying to lose excess weight. However, there are a few food items that most people would do well to avoid. Fat in excess is never good, and as a result fatty meats, as well as processed foods with saturated and trans fats in them should also be avoided. Try to stick to lean meats, vegetables, and other low-calorie, natural foods. If you have a health condition that is your motivation for a new diet, try talking to a doctor first to receive advice on how you should get started. You can easily find one and book an appointment online.

Proper Exercise

But eating well is not enough. In order to have a completely healthy lifestyle, you need to be exercising at least a little bit on a regular basis. It is recommended that the average adult get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each week (via, which works out to about 30 minutes a day, and you even get the weekend off! You should also do some muscle-strengthening exercise at least two days a week. When it is laid out so clearly, it makes you wonder why more of us don’t do it. After all, in a day of 24 hours, what is just half of one of them? Regular exercise and a good diet can completely transform your health, your happiness, and even affect the rest of your life. So why wouldn’t you want to put an effort into both?

The Antioxidant Benefits of Both

Antioxidants help fight against disease and aging. Your body tends to produce more antioxidants when you work out, but receives more antioxidants when you eat healthy. If you don’t eat as much raw fruit and veggies and just focus on exercise – you’ll notice that your antioxidant levels will be good but not great (there are ways to test antioxidant levels – Pharmanex, Monavie…etc). If you exercise with a real intensity, and then eat very healthy with all the raw healthy foods, your antioxidant levels will skyrocket. This will give you the best long term benefits.

Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer and lover of all things health, beauty and interior design. When I'm not writing, I can be found reading a good book or training the best clients ever at the gym.

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