I’ve always said that there needs to be a balance between having a healthy diet and a healthy amount of exercise.
Some say you don’t need exercise to lose weight, that a good diet can do it all – but I think it needs to be a mixture of both.
I also believe, through my own experience, that it’s ok to eat the odd ‘bad’ foods as long as on the whole you eat healthily. Especially if you exercise enough to burn the calories you eat, off. I eat to fuel my exercise.
The old runners thought is: ‘If the furnace is hot enough, anything will burn’.
I’m very active, and I eat in accordance to this – but I try to be healthy when possible. In my eyes, exercise (being active) and what you consume are both important.
Now, here’s a good excerpt from that book I was reading – Diet Cults. 🙂 – especially the end bit
A good diet can slow the rate at which the brain ages and loses functional capacity. But exercise activity reverses these processes, adding grey matter. Boosting neuro plasticity and heightening cognitive function.
Cardio respiratory fitness itself, which is strongly affected by exercise, but only weakly affected by diet, is not only a useful attribute for endurance athletes, but is also an important health factor.
Research has shown that cardio respiratory fitness is a strong predictor of longevity across the lifespan and in old age especially. Exercise is associated with a high level of cardio respiratory in the elderly, healthy eating is not.
Then there’s the matter of how you feel when you’re fit. Health is typically defined in the negative – the absence of disease. But I prefer to define healthy positively, in terms of the functional capacity of its systems, and of the organism as a whole.
A good diet does not increase functional capacity, it merely enables the body to exploit existing capacity. Exercise has the power to drastically enhance the functional capacity of nearly every system of the body.
At rest, a physically fit individual is aware of the latent capacity within him. Sending it as a kind of overflowing vitality. It is often said that modern life is a marathon, and not without reason. Every day life on Earth is a test of endurance.
When you have the energy to run 26.2 miles, daily life is a cake walk. You feel like a comic book hero, as you sail through the quotidian routine of commuting, working, fixing meals, helping your kids with their homework and all the rest. You can’t get that feeling from eating like a saint and never leaving your recliner.
Here’s to being a marathon runner and comic book hero and having your cake and eating it. 🙂