Thursday, September 18, 2008

Healthy Eating Requires Exercise

Get your flavanoids! They're good for your heart. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables for that. Make sure you get enough Omega 3 fats in your diet; they're good fats and can reduce cholesterol and ease the metabolism of bad fats. Salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, and soybeans are good sources. Make sure you get enough dairy in your diet; it's needed for strong bones and will help avoid degenerative disease like osteoporosis. Cottage cheese, yogurt, and milk will cover you there. And don't forget about fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and ...

The list goes on an on and on. So it occurred to me while making my way home after a long commute ride the other day (and thinking of what I was going to devour once I got home) that if we actually followed all of the nutritional guidance pumped into the media by food companies, supplement companies, and well-intentioned fitness professionals, we'd all look like sumo wrestlers!

The missing variable, of course is exercise.
So, while there are lots of great reasons for exercising, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT OF EXERCISE could very well be that it simply allows us to eat more! Most of us love to eat, and a lot of us exercise just so that we can eat more!

Indeed, while it's well documented that exercise alone improves your heart health, reduces stress, and enriches your lifestyle, regular and occasionally intense exercise burns extra calories. And without exercise, most of us would be obese within 6 months if we consumed all of needed food to obtain all of the needed nutrients. Or you could pay thousands of dollars per year on organic supplements, though even the best manufactured nutrients fall far short on nutrient quality when compared to natural food sources. So, we need to eat better and eat more!

Hydration also factors in. Water is the body's primary means of cleansing itself by flushing toxins out the back (bottom) door. Further, proper hydration improves digestive efficiency, reduces blood pressure, and improves the appearance of skin, nails, and hair.

We've all heard the advise to drink 8 glasses of water each day. You know, that's a lot of water! It actually takes conscious effort to consume that much water positioned butt down at your desk. But crank out a few hot cardio intervals, or knock down one of our HEAT programs, or do a few FT Coley lunges, and you'll have 20 ounces through your body before you event think about food! The primary vessel we drive, our bodies, simply requires exercise induced thirst to get in enough fluids on a regular basis.

So, there you have it! Never mind that exercise improves your heart health and reduces the risk of acquiring all types of disease and illness, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION OF EXERCISE IS THAT YOU CAN EAT MORE!

And getting nutrients, from trace minerals to water to protein is critical to your health. We are what we eat.