Diet or Exercise – which is more important?
If you’ve read the previous two posts about this question, you know by now that the answer to the above question: diet. However, it’s not about going on a diet, and exercise plays a crucial role as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s important to remember that diet is not about going on a diet – it’s about having a lifestyle that consists of consuming good, nutritious foods and avoiding processed foods, additives, toxins and pesticides.
Let’s look at a few reasons why diet is even more important than exercise
1. If there were ever a case of garbage in- garbage out; this is where it applies. Your body is made from the stuff you eat. Whether or not you exercise, or how hard you take exercise, your body is in a constant state of renovation. Cells are dividing, new cells are being formed, and old ones are being cleaned up and disposed of or recycled in some manner. Think about the fact that your body is made up of approximately 100 trillion cells.
Simply ask yourself if you want to be built from good things or bad things, from the best components or from things that are “good enough”. Is it OK to throw some chemicals and pesticides into the mix, or do you want to guard against the toxins that go into your body?
The Presidential panel on cancer issued a statement in 2010 that stated “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated” and advised the President “to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”
2. There will be days and times of your life when you can’t exercise. You should exercise every day; we were made to move and be active. There will be times when because of illness, travel or other things that come up that you won’t be able to exercise. However, your body never stops the process of creating and repairing cells, and cleaning up damaged and dead cells. This goes on every day, for as long as you live. As a matter of fact – in the times of stress when it’s most likely that you won’t be able to exercise, your cells are under the most stress.
Give your body the fuel to run optimally and you set up the potential for good things.
Think about your car – it wouldn’t make much sense to wax and polish and detail the outside of your vehicle, but be careless about changing the oil, maintaining the mechanical systems and filling it with good fuel.
Just like you wouldn’t put water or sugar in the gas tank of your car (you know that nothing good would come from that) – you should guard against putting junk in your fuel tank; the end result of that won’t be good either.
3. I believe you should try to maximize your intake of fresh raw foods to maximize the nutrients and enzymes you get from your food, try as much as possible to eat organic foods to avoid exposure to pesticides, avoid processed foods, and use vitamin and mineral supplements wisely. I’ll examine each of these in more detail in future posts, but here are the high points. You may not be able to make a complete change to your diet all at once, but start with one thing or one area and go from there. If you don’t do anything else, try to avoid processed foods and focus on fresh raw foods. Avoid things in boxes and bags, and try to eat things that are picked, peeled, grown, harvested. One easy thing to do is shop from the outer aisles of your grocery store. This is where the fresh things are.
4. You only get one body – treat it carefully.
For most people it’s easier to build on success, and the success of feeling your body begin to respond to regular good diet is motivational. It doesn’t take too long after you make good nutrition and regular exercise a part of your lifestyle that you will probably start to look for ways to make additional improvements – because you will begin to feel better!
You can trade in a car, buy a new house, but you don’t get a new body in this life – take care of it! Even if this didn’t have an effect on how long you live (though I think it will), you’ll enjoy the journey of life and feel better along the way. What price can you put on feeling good? I know many people who “just don’t feel good” every day. On the other hand, most of the people I know who focus on good nutrition and regular exercise feel great almost every day and seem to have boundless energy. Which sounds better to you? You have a tremendous amount of control of which one of those groups you end up in. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here yet – but you have control of the choices you make today, and you can begin to make a change today and build on it tomorrow, and for the rest of you life.
This is a complicated subject that may leave many people with questions or wondering how to begin to make changes. If you have questions, comments or any other feedback, please use the form below to contact me. I’d love to hear from you.