New research has discovered that you can't escape the impact of a poor diet by simply exercising more. When it comes to your long-term health and lifespan, regular physical activity and good dietary habits go hand in hand. They play a significant role in preventing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
The popular saying "You can't out-train a bad diet" holds true not only for calorie management but also for your mortality risk. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that high levels of physical activity cannot counteract the detrimental effects of a poor diet on mortality risk.
What Does Research Say: Researchers at The University of Sydney found that individuals who maintained both high levels of physical activity and a high-quality diet had the lowest risk of death. Compared to physically inactive participants with poor diets, those who combined high physical activity with a high-quality diet experienced a 17% reduction in mortality risk from all causes. They also had a 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 27% lower risk from certain cancers.
The study emphasizes that you cannot outrun the effects of a poor diet solely by increasing exercise. To achieve long-term health and longevity, it is crucial to prioritize both regular physical activity and good dietary habits.
Health = Diet and Exercise: The findings also underline the importance of recognizing the synergy between diet and physical activity. Both factors are vital for overall health, contributing to weight control, regulation of inflammation, immune function, and muscle mass.
To cultivate a high-quality diet, the Mediterranean diet is often considered the gold standard. It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts, legumes, olive oil, and limited amounts of meat, eggs, and dairy. Additionally, incorporating fermented foods for gut health and opting for unprocessed, preferably organic, foods is beneficial.
Regarding exercise, the World Health Organization recommends adults aged 18-64 aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week or 75-150 minutes of more vigorous activity. Strength or resistance training on 2 or more days a week is also recommended. Even small changes like reducing sedentary time and engaging in incidental exercise can have positive effects.
Ultimately, building sustainable habits requires adding vibrant and diverse foods to your diet while ensuring adequate protein and healthy fats. Finding enjoyable forms of exercise and integrating them into your routine, preferably with social support, is also key. Starting small, breaking up sitting time with short exercise breaks, and gradually increasing physical activity can make a significant difference in your overall well-being.