Are Exercise and Nutrition Equally Important?

Recent statistics show that more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one-third of the population is considered obese. How did we get so out of shape? Is it because we eat too much, or because we don’t exercise enough? Well, it’s both.

Just being thin does not necessarily mean one is healthy. And, while regular exercise can definitely reduce some of the risks of being overweight, it certainly cannot remove them entirely. According to one study, weight and activity levels are very strong predictors of living a longer life. The people who are constantly healthier are those who are both thin and physically active.

Researchers conducted studies involving female nurses in order to determine the affects of both exercise and weight on lifespan.

The findings indicated that:

Obese and inactive women had a mortality rate 2.5 times higher than women who were lean and active.

Women who were obese but physically active were twice as likely to die a premature death than those who were lean and active.

Women who were lean but inactive (less than 3.5 hours of exercise per week) increased their risk of premature death by 55 percent, compared to lean women who worked out more often.

Obese women who were physically active (exercise for at least 3.5 hours a week) experienced a death rate that was 91 percent higher than lean women who exercised similarly.

So, diet and exercise are both important in determining your weight and overall health. It’s not enough to just be lean, you must also be active to remain in good health. And while physical activity does help improve health, being overweight carries a number of significant health risks, including triple the risk of heart disease, and a tenfold increase in the chance of developing diabetes.

If you need help developing a nutrition and exercise program to improve your health, contact a local personal trainer to get you started safely.

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