We’re always reaching for our next health goal: We want to feel better, lose weight, have more energy, head off heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and look great. But what’s the best way to get there? Women’s Health examined several health goals, and determined whether or not diet or exercise is the most effective method of reaching each goal:
Weight Loss: If you’re trying to drop pounds, the best way to do that is through dieting. It’s much easier to eat 300 fewer calories every day than to run three more miles at the gym, and research shows that trimming calories from your diet is the most direct way to trim your waistline. Exercise will help keep the weight off, though.
Better Energy: If you’re low on energy, however, hit the gym to increase your levels of dopamine and norepinephrin, which will result in increased energy.
Mood Boost: Sweating is also the best way to improve your mood – one exercise session can boost your mood for 12 hours. It’ll also help you deal with stress more effectively.
Preventing Heart Disease and Diabetes: When it comes to preventing future health problems, dieting will help prevent heart disease more effectively, while exercise is more beneficial when trying to reduce the risk of diabetes. To ward off heart disease, pack your diet with omega-3 fatty acids – they can reduce the risk of heart disease up to 64%. Exercising, however, will cause your muscles to absorb more glucose from the blood, which will keep your blood sugar more level. Of course, you want to make sure you’re at a healthy weight as well.
Cancer Prevention: The best method of cancer prevention involves both exercise and dieting. Eating a largely plant-based diet and regular exercise are the best ways to protect yourself from cancer.
Though Blisstree cringes at the word “dieting,” you can’t go wrong with a combination of a healthy eating and exercise, especially if you’re hoping to achieve multiple health goals. (Who doesn’t want to protect themselves from both heart disease and diabetes?) Working out regularly while eating lots of healthy, natural foods is the way to go.