Diet or exercise – which is the best for improving health? Turns out you need a little of both.
When it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes, we’ve all heard that for the best results it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Sure the food you put into your mouth can quickly result in more kilojoules than you can burn in a typical gym session, but according to new research, combining both diet and exercise together will give you a bigger health boost than tackling them sequentially. While making changes to both your exercise regime and your diet may seem daunting for many who already struggle to find the time, combining the two turns out to be a better strategy than focusing on changing diet first – an approach that many weight loss programs advocate – as this may actually interfere with establishing a consistent exercise routine.
When it comes to making changes time is a problem for most, and if people can find the time initially for exercise they will be a lot more likely to continue with their regular exercise schedule. According to the senior researcher Abby King, “With dietary habits, you have no choice; you have to eat. You don’t have to find extra time to eat because it’s already in your schedule. So the focus is more on substituting the right kinds of food to eat. But finding time to exercise if you already have a busy schedule can be challenging.” Interestingly, the study also found that the people who introducing the exercise intervention first were more likely to meet the exercise and nutrition goals than people who started with the dietary changes first. Maybe the chances of success really lie with how many time you dedicate to your new healthy lifestyle.
To improve our health, we do need to take time away from our busy schedule and make ourselves a priority. This means, stepping away from the desk to enjoy lunch outside, including a 30-60 minutes workout at the end of the day when you just want to crash on the couch, or skipping your favourite television show so you can catch up on much-needed sleep (you can IQ or watch it online later anyway). Dedicating time in your day for your health is something that you must do if you want to achieve the health results you are after. You can start with a small time commit and work your way to more. It’s about making lifestyle changes for the long-term and not a two-week drastic change only to see yourself resort back to your old ways when life gets in the way. There are always excuses for why we don’t have time for healthy habits, but really they’re just excuses. The people who really want to change will find a way. Remember, making time in your day for health is not an inconvenience – it’s simply a vital step towards helping you achieve more in life.
What excuse do you need to overcome to achieve your health and well-being goals?