According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, there is an important link between good nutrition and healthy weight; reduced chronic disease risk; and overall health. It is stated that about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.

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You may have noticed that for common diseases like diabetes and hypertension, the first line of treatment is diet and exercise. When this does not produce the desired result, the healthcare provider may prescribe a medication but would usually ask the patient to continue with a recommended diet and exercise.

Why are diet and exercise so important?

Even for people who have a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. Smart food choices, can help protect from these health problems. (hhs.gov)

Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits such as the prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading health-related causes of death). Other benefits of physical activity or exercise include, weight control, stronger muscles, reduced body fat, better overall strength and endurance, improved sleep and decreased potential of becoming depressed to name a few.

Diet and exercise is better than Diet or exercise.

A study on the “Effects of exercise training and Mediterranean diet on vascular risk reduction in post-menopausal women” suggested that engaging in Mediterranean diet and exercise regularly improves microcirculatory and cardiorespiratory functions, and enhances exercise tolerance in postmenopausal women, thereby reducing the CVD risk in this high-risk group The group that did both diet and exercise had a better outcome than those that did only exercise (Alkhatib, A., & Klonizakis, M. 2014).
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Why is it so difficult?

A lot has been said about diet and exercise over the years but there does not seem to be much change in the society. This is because we make it so difficult. First, an individual must come to the point where you have a “why”. Why do I want to diet or exercise? Do I want to be healthy? Do I want to look better? Or do I just want to impress others. Whatever your reason is, it must be strong enough to keep you to your plan.

One advice I have is like the common adage, “slow and steady wins the race”. Start with little steps like changing your diet one thing at a time. A very good article with tips on healthy eating habits has been provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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For exercise routines, start simple. If a particular exercise routine hurts, make sure you change it. You might be damaging a muscle and that would defeat the whole purpose.

Decide today to take action with one small step at a time. Make sure that you house is full of healthy things to eat. When you feel like nibbling on something, you will have only healthy choices. Walking is a very good form on physical activity, after which you can graduate to low impact exercise equipment.

I wish you the best in your journey to good health.

References

Alkhatib, A., & Klonizakis, M. (2014). Effects of exercise training and Mediterranean diet on vascular risk reduction in post-menopausal women. Clinical Hemorheology & Microcirculation, 57(1), 33–47. https://doi-org.nec.gmilcs.org/10.3233/CH-131770

 

HHS Office. (2017, January 26). Importance of Good Nutrition. Retrieved January 10, 2019, from https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/eat-healthy/importance-of-good-nutrition/index.html

  1. This is a really nice Post Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits such as the prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading health-related causes of death). Other benefits of physical activity or exercise include, weight control, stronger muscles, reduced body fat, better overall strength and endurance, improved sleep and decreased a few. Nice Post lot of work putting into it couldn’t have been better

    • Hi Dammy,

      I hope people will steer away from focusing on medications and put more emphasis on their diet and low impact exercise.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Olufemi

  2. My experience with excerise and dieting is simply to say it works. And I am not talking about drastic changes. First of all, I eliminated highly processed foods from my diet. And when I craved a snack, I ate an apple instead of a sugary cookie or chips. The crunchiness of the apple went a long way in satisfying the craving. I also started walking more. Mostly to walk my dog. The end result was losing weight and feeling better.

    • Hi Glen,

      You are doing just the right thing. Healthy living is a case of “slow and steady wins the race”. If you take any medications, you can check out other posts on my website that can show how to set up your medication profile so you can check out side effects and drug interactions before taking any new medication. And it is free.

      Thanks 

      Olufemi

  3. What a great article! I agree that motivation is a huge factor that will help in trying to achieve your goals. It has definitely been difficult for me in order to gain weight because I would just give up since I would see no results but I now have gotten past that phase and am trying my best to stick to a certain plan and diet so I can ultimately see results in the long run!

    • Yes Dominik,

      Do not give up. One advise is to try not to do too much at a time. Make the changes in small increments. 

      Thanks

      Olufemi

  4. This ia really educating post. There is no doubt the importance of regular exercise and good diet to our healthy living. Both good diet and regular exercise combined works perfectly fine than practicing them individually. its so difficult to practice both due to lack of plan and discipline. Both can be achieved with ease if properly planned

  5. Exercising is an important factor in our lives I think a lot of us neglect. We know it has tremendous health benefits but we just don’t do it. Also eating a healthy diet is something a lot of us also ignore. We just throw into our mouths anything we are able to lay our hands on. I think this is unhealthy and we need to exercise regularly and eat the right diets in order to live a healthy life.

    We don’t have to only exercise when we plan on losing weight. We can exercise just become we want to feel and look good. I really don’t know why a lot of people attribute exercising to losing weight. It really baffles me.

    • Hi Jay,

      Yes we should exercise even if we do not want to lose weight. Eating healthy takes planning. You have to make sure something healthy is always handy so when you feel the craving you can grab the healthy food that has been waiting patiently for you.

      Thanks again

      Olufemi

  6. Diet and exercise definitely improve the likelihood of a long and healthy life. As mentioned in your article, doing both is more likely to provide improvement than either one or the other by themselves.My problem is laziness. I tend to avoid both exercise and healthy eating. I’m surprised I’m not more overweight than I am!I’ve heard good things about the Mediterranean diet. I may have to look into that to see what kinds of foods it includes. Taste is all important to a hedonistic guy like me! There must be a way to make living a healthy lifestyle seem to be more of an appealing goal to strive for than the alternative.

    • Hi,

      You have a point there that it can sometimes be difficult to eat well and exercise. I try to get motivated by watching YouTube videos of beautiful menus. I try to work with what I know and like. For example, I like fried eggs, so I start by stir frying onions, tomatoes, hot peppers, broccoli in the pan. I use olive oil if it low heat or corn oil if it is high heat. Then I pour in the eggs, stir and cover the pan. When it is done, I eat it with some white bread which I also love. 

      So you can work in a healthy meal into what you already like.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Olufemi

  7. Hello Olufemi,

    I have read your article of Are diet and exercise important for healthy living, really very helpful and essential article. people need to know this for living healthy life and staying fit, i appreciate your thoughts and totally agreed with you. thank you so much for your helpful article, i would love to share this with friends.

    • Thanks Tawhid,

      Please share with your friends. I also have other posts that can show to set up your medication profile so you can check out side effects and drug interactions before taking any new medication.

      Thanks again.

      Olufemi

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