We can’t control every single aspect of our lives. Still, the thing we can manage on our own in some aspects is our health. Namely, the most important factor when it comes to our health is proper exercise and proper diet. And let’s be honest – with a bit of discipline, we are the ones who are completely responsible for that.
First of all, it’s important to realize that our health mostly depends on these two aspects and that they represent excellent preventive measures protective us from various illnesses and health issues. You just need to know what exactly they include.
The interdependence of diet and exercise
Proper diet and regular exercise are not important for your body only on their own terms and individually. They are also co-dependent, meaning they enhance each other’s effect on your health and fitness. In other words, you won’t have much use of exercise if you don’t eat properly and a proper diet won’t shape your body and keep you fit if you never workout.
More precisely, your diet is especially important when you exercise regularly. You pre-workout and post-workout meals are incredibly significant if you want the maximum effect from the exercise.
Your pre-workout meal should consist of carbohydrates and proteins rather than simple sugars and fat. It’s best to stick to bananas, nuts, berries, grapes and oranges, as well as nut butter. After the workout, your body will have to repair its muscles and rebuild glycogen stores, so the right food will help it do it faster. Carbs and proteins are the main nutrients then, with the 3:1 ratio (carbs to protein).
General healthy diet
Of course, dietary needs slightly differ with every individual, but there are some general rules applicable to everybody. Fruits and vegetables should be the biggest part of your everyday diet. Whole grains should also make a significant part of most of your meals, while you also shouldn’t exclude protein, nuts and legumes. It’s important to always balance different types of food, for example, oils and dairy with meats and poultry. The types of foods that should be avoided as much as possible include sweets, trans-fat-heavy foods, alcohol and salty food. You also need to be aware of the number of calories you eat every day. The optimal number differs according to gender, age and size but it is possible to determine it.
Breakfast – the most important meal
If you regularly have breakfast, it can lower the risk of obesity, heart conditions and diabetes. A proper breakfast replenishes your blood sugar and prevents you from feeling lethargic. Don’t rely on simple carbohydrates like doughnuts and white bagels. Have breakfast rich with protein and fiber like oatmeal or some other whole-grain cereal. Milk, yogurt and chopped nuts go excellent with it. Whole-grain bread is great with peanut butter or eggs as protein sources.
Effects on the mood
Our mental health is incredibly important and doing exercise is especially beneficial to it. We all strive to be confident because, as any cosmetic surgeon in your area may point out, confidence is what inspires us to fulfill our potentials. Confidence can be easily achieved through exercise. Most forms of exercise trigger endorphins – chemicals in your brain that make you feel good about yourself, full of positive energy and happy. Diet can also have a positive effect on your mental health, so it’s one more reason you should include both in your healthy lifestyle. Through regular exercise, you will increase your brain activity and significantly reduce stress. Endorphins in our brains can even successfully prevent or reduce depression.
Effects on your sleeping patterns
We all know that sleep is important because it’s when our bodies heal and revitalize. Sleep issues can be significantly reduced if you exercise regularly – you will fall asleep easier but also manage to stay asleep during the night. Also, the right, light meals in the evening will make sure your stomach doesn’t have any issues with digestion and bloating, thus helping you fall asleep more easily.
The biggest and possibly the most important benefit of a healthy diet and exercise is the way they protect our bodies from various ailments and health issues. The right combination of food and exercise will boost your immunity, preventing numerous diseases. They will also help reduce the risk of many serious health issues, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, and even some types of cancer and arthritis.
A proper diet and regular exercise make our daily lives easier and more pleasant. Not to mention the long-term benefits they bring. They help you become a healthier individual in every aspect: physically, mentally, emotionally. The right time to improve your lifestyle is right now – the sooner you start with it, the more and faster benefits you’ll experience.
Mia Johnson freelance writer & fitness expert from Sydney, Australia
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