The Importance Of Eating Healthy And Exercising Each Day

The Importance of Eating Healthy and Exercising Each Day

So much of our health and well-being can be traced directly back to the things we eat.

Our nutritional choices can make the difference between health and disease, fitness and obesity, and can even make a difference in our moods.

Below are some guidelines on the importance of eating healthy and exercising each day.

The food we eat is what powers our bodies.

A healthy diet, one that’s “clean,” can give us stores of good, reliable energy to keep our muscles pliant, our bones strong, and our minds nimble.

Good nutrition can help support body and mind function in ways that keep us healthier longer by preventing disease, managing our weight, and ensuring that we have a good quality of life.

Fuel Your Body

food with high in nutritional value

Calories are energy. The body burns calories to provide fuel for our muscles and cells.

According to Medicine Plus, a balanced diet is one where the calories and nutrients are balanced – the calorie level is offset by the nutritional value of what we eat.

A good diet should be made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Carbohydrates get turned into sugar (glucose) for energy.

This energy is used immediately by the muscles and brain as a quick fuel source.

Alternatively, any excess is stored in the liver and the muscles to be used at a later time.

Unfortunately, the muscles, cells, and liver can only hold so much.

So if you eat a lot of carbohydrates, the body will store the rest as fat.

All carbohydrates, even complex ones, are broken into glucose. 

Ideally, your carbs should come from low glycemic foods like vegetables and berries.

These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even better – taste!

Foods You Should Avoid

If you eat a lot of over-processed packaged or fast food, this will eventually lead to weight gain and health problems. 

These foods contain harmful trans fats​​​, hidden sugars, and dangerous chemicals. 

Worst of all, they seriously lack any nutritional value. 

A big part of eating healthy is also knowing what types of food you need to avoid.

These are similar to simple carbohydrates like sugar and white flour.  

While they may taste good, they also have little to no nutrients to balance out their high calories.  

If you intake more calories than your body needs, these calories are stored as fat. 

You must read labels and avoid high sugar items and ones that have ingredients you can't pronounce.

The key is eating whole foods that will nourish your body like eggs, non-starchy vegetables, avocados, salmon, and chicken.

Reduce Your Risk Factors

taking care of your heart

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise will also reduce your risk factors for many diseases.

Poor eating habits have been shown to have a hand in causing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Eating a diet rich in trans fats and sugar can result in atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

High-cholesterol foods can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood, which in turn can also lead to atherosclerosis.

According to the American Cancer Society, processed meats, fried foods, and alcohol have all been linked to certain deadly cancers, like colon and liver cancer.

Obesity is also a risk factor in many cancers.

Some diseases and conditions that can be caused or aggravated by obesity are high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gall stones (caused by build-up of fats), gout, heart disease, stroke, and even sleep apnea and asthma.

A Healthy Mind Is Key

Having a healthy mindset, eating right, and exercising can help to support better mental function, and better mood.

We’ve all been there – we’re sad, so we grab some chocolate for a quick pick-me-up. It even seems to work, at least while the sugar is still in our bloodstream.

But what happens less than half an hour later? Our blood sugar crashes and with it our mood.  

Soda, candy, processed sugar… they can all be more trouble than they’re worth where our moods are concerned.

A healthy diet can also help to combat depression, anxiety, and stress, according to the American Journal of Psychiatry

Small Hinges Can Swing Big Doors

Adding protein to your diet can increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which can help to elevate a depressed mood.

Instead of reaching for a piece of cake next time, go for some plain Greek yogurt.

It has more protein and less sugar than most kinds of yogurt.

You could also eat foods with elevated B12 and vitamin D, both of which can help counteract depression and anxiety.

These can be found in diverse sources like leafy greens, broccoli, and salmon.

The USDA has indicated that eating foods with higher levels of antioxidants can promote the growth and regeneration of brain cells well into old age.

This means that there will be an improved ability to communicate, and better cognition or thinking ability. 

There are quite a few foods that are thought to be helpful in keeping your brain active for longer periods.  

Some of them are blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, and olive oil.

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Move It Or Lose It

When we say exercise every day, that doesn't mean spend hours at the gym.

It can be as simple as taking the stairs at work, parking your car further out, or taking a short walk at lunch or after dinner.

Try to do strength training, 3 days a week to tone your muscles and improve your bone health.

Many exercises can be done with your own bodyweight or with inexpensive resistance bands.

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Many gyms have fitness classes that are fun and will get you moving or try a yoga session if that's more your speed.

Ideally, you should strive to do a little every day. 

Exercise is a great way to improve your physical as well as mental health.

And it doesn't need to be strenuous in order to count.

Conclusion

The importance of adopting a daily habit of healthy eating and some form of exercise can't be expressed enough.

With consistency, you'll be able to feel better, improve your mental well being, and reduce your risk for major diseases.

This will, in turn, bring more quality of life to you and your loved ones as well help you live a longer more fulfilled life being the best version of yourself.