When it comes to embarking on a healthy lifestyle, many people choose diet over exercise, or vice versa. Is one really better than the other?
A recent study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, revealed that neither was actually beneficial in helping individuals meet healthy eating and fitness recommendations – at least for any period of time.
Their research found that the answer to a permanent lifestyle change was to simultaneously incorporate physical activity while also making diet changes. Haven’t we always been told that making small steps is best?
For a number of years now, many experts have recommended that it’s better to make changes in baby steps and set achievable, smaller goals; however, this study shows that isn’t necessarily true. There may be a number of reasons for this.
Changing your eating habits is likely to provide some positive benefits; however, remaining sedentary may counteract much of that. Failing to exercise is just like taking a depressant. Physical activity raises endorphins, or happy hormones, giving our mood a boost while also increasing energy levels.
By embarking on a fitness program but continuing to indulge in unhealthy cuisine such as highly processed foods, regular or diet sodas, and other toxic items found in the typical American diet, you’re not likely to feel all that much better just because you’re exercising either.
Some experts have noted that, “continually making new changes can also drain energy and motivation, and lead to a drop in compliance over time.” Of course, that only makes sense if you feel like you’re putting a lot of effort in but not getting much out of it.
Experts also feel that by paying attention to both healthy behaviors when seeking to get on the road to optimal health, people tend to give them equal priority and increase the likelihood that these habits are maintained over a longer period of time.
A higher quality of life is achieved through an overall healthy lifestyle.
It’s not like you haven’t heard it already, but it’s worth repeating. To avoid the very long list of possible chronic illnesses and diseases, as well as premature aging, a healthy lifestyle that incorporates a number of factors is essential.
A lengthier, happier, higher-quality life can be achieved through:
- A healthy, balanced diet filled with plenty of brightly-colored fruits and vegetables as well as healthy oils like cold-pressed organic olive oil and coconut oil, nuts and seeds, grass-fed meats and fatty fish such as wild-caught salmon.
- Avoiding chemicals and toxins including those found in our food and the environment.
- Regular exercise – High Intensity Training for 15 minutes, 3 times a week.
- Stress reduction techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.
- Remembering to enjoy life for all that it is, and having fun!
-The Alternative Daily