Dover Nutrition Expert on why BOTH exercise AND nutrition are the way to go


You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.”


Ask anyone worth their salt who works in fitness and/or nutrition and they’ll tell you it’s the truth.


This begs the question: If your goal is to lose weight, can you do so by focusing on your diet only?


Yes, you can, but you’ll risk being what’s called “skinny-fat.”


Skinny-fat is looking nice and slim with your clothes on, but when you take them off, it’s a different story. Because you don’t exercise regularly, you have little muscle tone, no definition and you look a little soft all around.


The simple truth is that if you want to be in optimum shape and look and feel great, you have to exercise and eat healthily.

But, of course, there are other reasons. Here are four of them and the role exercise and nutrition play…

  1. You’ll reduce your chance of getting diabetes:


Exercise: When you exercise your heart beats a little faster and you breathe a little harder. Your muscles, in turn, use more glucose (the sugar in your bloodstream.)


Nutrition: According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health the following food strategy will help you avoid type 2 diabetes: 1) Choose whole grains and whole-grain products; 2) Skip sugary drinks and choose water; 3) Choose good fats; 4) Limit red meat and avoid processed meat; 5) If you smoke, quit; 6) Moderate your consumption of alcohol


  1. You’ll have healthy bones-Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones become weak and brittle.


Exercise: During the third decade of our lives, our bones begin to lose their strength. Regular exercise increases your bone strength and bone density.


Nutrition: There are two key nutrients your body uses to build strong bones: Calcium and Vitamin D. Foods that are known to be good for you bones are dairy products such as eggs, low-fat and nonfat milk, yogurt and cheese; canned sardines and salmon (with bones); tuna; dark, leafy greens, such as kale, arugula, watercress, and collard; broccoli; almond butter; soy beans and nuts.


  1. You’ll have less stress- According to the American Medical Association, stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease!


Exercise: Physical activity increases your brain’s production of endorphins. Endorphins give you a sense of well-being and euphoria. Exercise also improves blood flow and your body’s ability to use oxygen both of which have a direct, positive result on your brain’s well-being.


Nutrition: Some foods help stabilize your blood sugar which helps keep you on an even keel when it comes to your emotions. Foods to embrace are green leafy vegetables, wild caught Alaskan Salmon, blueberries, pistachios, dark chocolate, avocado, nuts and seeds, red peppers, and green tea (to name a few.


  1. You’ll get more sleep


Sleep disorders affect 40% of adult Canadians according to research done by Quebec’s Laval University. When you don’t get enough sleep, you could get sick easier as lack of sleep reduces your body’s ability to fight illness; your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke is increased; your decision making, memory, reasoning, and problem solving suffers; your risk of diabetes increases and your looks suffer.


Exercise: An Oregon State University study showed that people who did 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week reported a 65-percent improvement in sleep quality. Study participants who exercised found that they felt less drowsy during the day compared to those who were less physically active.


Nutrition: The research is far from definitive but it’s thought that eating some foods before bedtime promotes sleep while eating other food hinders it. Food you’ll want to avoid before bedtime are alcohol of any kind, coffee, dark chocolate, energy drinks, soda, spicy food, fatty foods, steak, chicken, and grapefruit.


It’s been said that when it comes to an overall healthy lifestyle, nutrition is 70% of the puzzle and exercise is 30%. Some put nutrition as high as 80%. Which makes it clear that if you want to sleep better, have less stress in your life, have healthy bones, and avoid type 2 diabetes (among other benefits), you need a lifestyle strategy that includes both exercise and nutrition.


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