Simply put, being healthy is a challenge. By the year 2020, the UK will be rated as the 20th most obese country in the world by population. With Bradford, Liverpool, and Manchester ranking the highest as the populations with the greatest number of obese people, finding ways to combat this obesity is paramount if individuals want to live full and healthy lives.
Being healthy is easier said than done. For many, unhealthy eating habits were developed when children. A lack of vegetables as well as other necessary nutrients can leave us feeling lethargic during the day, decreasing the chance that we may exercise or otherwise put aside the time to be healthy. For any person to be healthy, they will need to both exercise and watch what they eat. However, as an interesting intellectual exercise, which of the two is more important? Let’s take a moment to provide short and long-form responses to give you a sense of what of the two has a greater impact.
Defining What is Important
While diet and exercise serve the same purpose of making someone healthy, they are important for separate reasons. Dieting involves eating the right kind of food and slowing down the formation of new fat. Exercise is important because it helps to strengthen our bodies and burn fat. For the sake of judging both against one another, let’s assume that what is most important are the positive affects either do for your health. Which of the two lead to you being healthier? You may be surprised to find out.
The Winner By A Narrow Margin
Exercise is more important than diet. While both only really work when you focus on the other, exercising alone can lead to better results than dieting alone. Why is this? Well, it all comes down to your long-term health. One of the greatest risks in old age is heart related. Heart attacks and blood clots are among the most common killers of individuals in the UK, and no matter how you diet, you cannot strengthen these things to be healthier. However, by exercising, you move your body around, burn fat, help to reduce your blood sugar levels, and strengthen all of your internal organs, including your heart. By strengthening your heart in exercises like Zumba, you can remain healthy for decades to come. By exercising today, you provide yourself with a better prospect decades from now. As an older study once found, those who lived the longest and had the highest degree of mental and physical functionality into old age were those who lived in apartment complexes that required walking up and down flights of steps every day. That simple repeated action provided benefits that no amount of dieting could match.
Now, that is not to say that dieting is useless. In fact, dieting provides a range of benefits. The reason why it is not the reason is that dieting limits your nutritional intake. It often times means getting less vitamins and minerals, and is synonymous with mildly starving yourself. Dieting can lead to weight reduction, which in turn will lead to less stress on your joints. With less stress comes a reduced risk of breaking bones or being injured in a fall. Exercise on the other hand provides the same benefits, helping you to not only reduce the amount of weight you have on your joints, but to rebuild the muscle that will help support you and keep you moving even as you age. Because of this, exercise manages to rank as more important than dieting, even though both go mostly hand in hand.
So what are you waiting for? Buy yourself a pair of exercise shoes and start exercising today!