Nutrition Vs. Exercise: Why You Need Both

With all the health and wellness advice available today, deciding where to start your journey to better living is challenging. As attempting to alter every aspect of your physical and emotional well-being at once is complicated, most people begin by working on one area at a time. Although breaking large concepts into smaller actions is often a practical approach, it’s not always ideal regarding nutrition and fitness.

Two Peas In A Pod

Why do you think that diet and exercise are always on the list when researching healthy living tips? They go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Sure, you could start eating a well-balanced diet and see positive results. You could also begin working out and notice changes in your appearance and performance. However, doing one without the other reduces your ability to achieve optimal health.

Nutrition: Fuel For The Mind And Body

Would you expect your car to run if the gas tank was empty? Like gas to a car, food is your body’s fuel. Your body needs the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from food to function. When you don’t eat enough food, your energy levels decline as your bodily systems and vital organs work harder to sustain your daily activities, let alone exercise.

What You Eat Matters

Just as putting the wrong grade of gas in the tank will cause performance problems with your vehicle, eating unhealthy foods impacts your body’s function and fitness results. Consuming too many processed, salty, sugary, or fatty foods causes conditions like weight gain and high blood pressure. Obesity and cardiovascular problems strain your heart, lungs, bones, and joints, making it harder to work out and achieve the body you desire.

That’s why health and nutrition experts recommend eating a well-balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods to give your body the fuel it needs to perform efficiently.

Nutrition And Exercise = Desired Body Type

Do you want to lose weight? Are you trying to build muscle? No matter how you slice it, your diet impacts your ability to achieve the desired results. To lose weight, you must eat nutrient-rich foods with a lower calorie count and work out more frequently to burn fat. However, building muscle requires healthy foods with a higher calorie and protein content and weight training to get an athletic physique.

Getting Started

Nutrition and fitness work together for the betterment of your health and wellness. As you can’t have one without the other, consider these tips to develop a plan that incorporates both.

Start With Health Expert Guidelines

So many diet and nutrition programs promise to help you achieve optimal health. However, they’re often restrictive and challenging to follow. Rather than overwhelm yourself, start with the basics provided by health experts and government agencies. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests eating 2 cups of fruit, 2 ½ cups of vegetables, 6 ounces of grains, 5 ½ ounces of protein, and 3 cups of low-fat dairy daily.

Consult Your Doctor

If you want a more detailed nutrition recommendation, consult your doctor. They are aware of your current health and can provide the best advice on which food groups, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need to improve. For instance, if you’re iron deficient, your doctor may recommend consuming more dark leafy green vegetables or taking an iron supplement. Similarly, if you have diabetes, you may need to steer clear of fruits with a high glycemic index.

Create A Meal Plan

Now that you know what you should and shouldn’t eat, you’re ready to create a meal plan. Planning your meals helps you to avoid unhealthy foods and reduces the temptation to order takeout. Write out what you’ll prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next week. You can always look for recipes that enable you to eat healthily while enjoying food. Shop for any necessary ingredients in advance, and use strategies like batch cooking and meal prepping to save time in the kitchen.

Join A Gym

Lastly, it’s time to get active. One of the best ways to develop and stick to an exercise routine is to join a gym. A fitness center provides various equipment, resources, and support systems to help you stay on track. You can find gyms in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Georgia, or Florida with high-tech exercise machines, fun fitness classes, aquatic therapy centers, saunas, childcare services, and personal training to suit your interests and needs.

Once you find a gym you like, commit to visiting at least three to five times a week. If you struggle with your exercise routine, sign up for classes or work with a personal trainer. Classes are often more encouraging than using machines or lifting weights. Personal trainers are accountability partners that will give you the extra push to stick to your commitment.

As you can see, nutrition and fitness go hand in hand. You need high-quality, healthy foods to fuel your body, achieve the desired physique, and reach optimal health. Use the above advice to develop a personalized diet and exercise plan to help you become the best version of yourself.

Juliana Chen

Juliana Chen, with a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University, has dedicated 16 years to advancing health education and wellness strategies. She joined our team as a freelancer in 2021, bringing her extensive knowledge in preventive medicine and healthy living. In her writing, she has also shared her expertise in nutrition, mental health, and disease prevention. Juliana’s prior roles include practicing physician and public health researcher. She is a certified yoga instructor and advocates for holistic health approaches in her spare time.

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