Whether it is advice from your doctor or health articles in a magazine, chances are you have been told that it is recommended that you adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regularly. These are two areas where individuals have the most control when it comes to personal health. Whatever your health goals, sustaining this healthy behaviour will provide you with several benefits.
Weight loss and control
If you are trying to lose weight, the healthiest approach lies in exercising more and eating a healthy, balanced and portion-controlled diet. This will allow you to reliably and safely lose excess weight as you burn more calories than you are consuming while conditioning your body. Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight will also aid in preventing or better managing health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and more. These are some of the conditions commonly associated with carrying excess weight.
Many factors can contribute towards poor heart health including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. All these conditions place a heavier-than-normal burden on the heart that can lead to serious illness and possible death. The best way to improve heart health lies in sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
It is not just heart health that is improved by proper diet and exercise. A person’s overall immunity can be improved in the same way. Consuming too much food while leading a sedentary lifestyle can put you at greater risk of falling ill. Diseases that one is at greater risk of suffering due to poor diet and lack of exercise include:
- Different types of cancer
- Body pain
Mood and energy
Lack of exercise can lead to lethargy and feelings of depression. This can often be combated by engaging in more physical activity that will induce the production and release of endorphins in the brain. This is a positive stimulating effect that makes for a happier and more positive mood. Eating a healthy diet can also reduce feelings of stress and boost brain health. The more energetic and positive you feel, the better your mental well-being and self-esteem.
The impact of diet and exercise on the brain goes well beyond just boosting mood and energy. It also helps to improve your memory and concentration. Eating a healthy and balanced diet has been found to help people focus, work better and retain information. Exercise also stimulates blood flow to the brain which can boost memory, learning, and thinking. By also encouraging better sleep, a healthy diet and exercise also promote better brain function during waking hours.
Getting a good night’s rest is crucial in leading a healthy lifestyle. Diet and exercise can greatly influence sleep habits. Eating too much and too close to your bedtime can lead to an uncomfortable night’s rest. Also, consuming a lot of sugar and caffeine can disturb sleep and cause a deterioration in its quality. Eating a light supper at least three hours before your bedtime can make for better sleep. Engaging in more physical activity throughout the day can also encourage quicker and deeper uninterrupted sleep.
In as much as we will all get old, we can often delay the onset of signs of ageing for longer by sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and exercising will make you look and feel younger. A diet rich in antioxidants will help combat the ageing effect of free radicals. It will also reduce the onset of common conditions in older age like back pain, arthritis, diabetes, depression, and more. Regular exercise and nutrition may also help in slowing down and reversing cognitive decline in seniors.
Gentle exercises can also help in relieving and preventing the soreness and stiffness that often comes with ageing. If recovering from pain conditions, instead of relying on just medications, it can help to opt for alternative treatments like osteopathy that help to strengthen tissue and bone, while seeking to heal and restore the body to its normal function.
Being physically fit helps in the release of hormones that increase sex drive and makes for better sexual performance and endurance. Men and women enjoy better sexual function and a higher libido when they exercise regularly. Aerobic or cardio exercise, in particular, help to relieve stress and anxiety, while boosting blood flow to the genitals. Being a healthier weight and flexible can also make sex easier.
As indicated above, it is important to combine diet and exercise to gain optimal results when it comes to your health. Not only will you be able to prevent disease, but you will also gain better sleep, lesser pain, a stronger immune system, weight control, improved mood, less stress, and enjoyable sex.
It is important to try and mix things up when it comes to diet and exercise. Learning new healthy recipes, visiting farmers’ markets, and gardening are all great ways to ensure you eat healthy seasonal foods. Finding new ways to remain physically active also helps. From dance classes to joining sports teams, playing with your kids to doing some spring cleaning, there are innumerable ways you can keep active. Every little bit helps as does being consistent in your efforts.
Diet and exercise support each other in boosting your health and should be considered a mandatory two-pronged approach to achieving and maintaining good health. If you experience challenges in adopting this healthy lifestyle, do not hesitate to discuss the issue with your doctor.