More and more research is showing that to fight off health issues later in life, healthy eating and regular exercise go hand in hand. Focussing on one over the other will not produce the same healthy results that combining the two together will accomplish.

Although this seems quite reasonable, there are still people who think they can exercise their way through a bad diet or eat their way to a healthy body while living a sedentary lifestyle.   Unfortunately, many “healthy” products support this line of thinking and services that claim to have the answer to a long and healthy life by focussing on one aspect over the other.

The most recent study looking at a database of nearly 350,000 participants over a 10-year period confirmed this thinking. People with both a higher physical activity level and a quality diet had the lowest mortality rate. Physical activity was associated with a lower mortality risk.  Those who engaged in vigorous activity (think breaking a sweat) had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

You cannot rely solely on your workout to maintain good health.  There are many aspects to maintaining good health of which diet and exercise are both key.  One does not cancel the other out. Going for a run, does not cancel out the negative impacts of the trans fats, or high sugar content of that cookie or ice cream cone. You need to optimize to both get and stay healthy.   It does not mean you cannot treat yourself occasionally after a good workout but we need to stop thinking that focusing on one aspect only will be enough to live a long and healthy life.