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Nutrition and Exercise

Nutrition and Exercise

What is more important? The foods you put into your body or the exercises you do? What is going to give you the most bang for your buck? Well, it depends on what you are trying to achieve, but honestly you are better off focusing on both. Yes, you can get results by just focusing on one (depending on what you are trying to achieve), but focusing on both will always maximise any results, often to a far greater extent than by just optimising one over the over.

The benefits of exercise and nutrition for weight loss

For most people, the easiest way to achieve a calorie deficit and lose weight is by reducing the amount of food eaten throughout the day. That being said, exercise burns off a significant number of calories and can help to reduce the calorie deficit needed in the diet. Also, the increase in muscle mass and regulation of hunger hormones brought on by exercising regularly can help to burn off more calories in the long term and ease feelings of hunger. A warning here is that over exercising can actually increase feelings of hunger. And, considering how easy it is to overconsume calories via food, the calories burnt from exercising can be completely negated very quickly.

The best thing to do is to find a balance of exercise and healthy eating that suits your lifestyle and helps you to achieve your weight loss goals. A good rule of thumb is the 80/20 split, whereby 80 percent of the calorie deficit comes from the food you eat, and the other 20 percent comes from the exercise you do. This balance can be altered if necessary, particularly if you prefer to focus more on exercise and less on the nutrition side of things. But remember, you cannot out exercise a bad diet, especially when it comes to weight loss.

How exercise and nutrition can improve strength, muscle mass and performance

When it comes to improving your strength, muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness, following a nutrition plan will provide the energy you need to perform the desired movements and will help you to recover more effectively from the workouts and activities you do. Without an adequate amount of energy, performance can be affected negatively, often leading to subpar results, even with a well thought out and structured training program.

If your nutrition is optimised, then your exercise becomes far more effective. Training and exercising effectively will provide the stimulus needed for your muscles to grow and for your cardiovascular system to become more efficient. Strength and increased co-ordination come from repeatedly doing exercises and tasks that are challenging. This forces more neuromuscular connections to be forged, making you more durable and fit and less prone to injury.

A smart nutrition plan will help you to perform better and elicit positive changes to your body composition. Coupling it with a consistent exercise regime gives your body the stimulus it needs to grow and become stronger.

How good nutrition and exercise can help us to age gracefully

Good nutrition and regular exercise are important at any age, but as we get older, it becomes even more important to focus on these two things. We all want to age gracefully and make the most of our lives. Unfortunately, our muscles, bones and other tissues slowly decay over time. This reduces our ability to produce force, control our balance and coordinate our movements, as well as increases the likelihood of fractures and other injuries occurring. This decay can be dramatic and can lead to us moving less, accumulating more fat and vastly decreasing our quality of life.

By engaging in regular strengthening exercises that challenge our coordination and balance, these age-related effects can be slowed down and sometimes even reversed. Coupling this with cardiovascular exercise can help to improve blood flow, reduce unhealthy fat and keep our brain and heart healthy. Following a good diet that provides an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, among other key nutrients can exacerbate these positive effects and can help to ward off many preventable diseases.

Take away

The overall message here is that implementing a consistent exercise regime and smart nutrition plan that is tailored to you and your lifestyle will always deliver the best results.

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