The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Maintaining your health isn’t always as simple as it seems. On one hand, you have people saying that a healthy diet is the most important thing. But on the other hand, other people are saying to primarily focus on exercise.

While both of these are correct, you can’t have one without the other. A well-balanced diet and exercise are like the yin and yang of health. Here’s how to combine a healthy diet with fitness.

Start Off on the Right Foot

Every doctor will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, a study that was performed by Harvard has shown that eating breakfast reduces the risk of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Beginning your day with a nutritional, well-balanced meal regulates your glucose, which keeps both your energy levels and mood in check. A nutritional breakfast can range from anything such as homemade fruit smoothies, oats and berries, avocados and whole grains.

Watch Your Intake of Carbs

You may have heard people talk about diets that have little to no carbohydrates. Because of this, carbohydrates have been given a bad name. However, carbohydrates aren’t what people make them out to be. They’re actually the main source of fuel for your body. In fact, medical professionals report that over 60 percent of your diet should consist of carbohydrates. Even a fitness training facility will tell you this.

Carbohydrates help you digest food better, fuels your muscles and can even lower your cholesterol. More importantly, if you exercise regularly, you need carbohydrates to build muscle and help you work out more efficiently.

Don’t Forget Protein

In addition to fruits and vegetables, also need to incorporate enough protein into your diet. Protein builds muscles mass and like carbohydrates, is an energy source.
There are many sources of protein including chicken, tuna, beans, milk, yogurt, and eggs.

Protein bars are also an option, but you should only consume them if you haven’t eaten previously. If you plan on having a long or rigorous exercise routine, don’t forget to fuel up on protein beforehand.

Pay Attention to Your Calorie Count

Lastly, it’s important to watch your calorie count. While the whole purpose of exercising is to burn calories, you don’t want to burn off more than you’re consuming. If you burn too many calories, you won’t have enough energy to exercise to your fullest capacity.

Tailor Your Workout to Your Goals

Not everyone has the same fitness goals. Some people want to lose weight, build muscles, increase their stamina, or improve their flexibility. Not all workouts will help with all those goals, so choose activities that will help you attain the results you want. Your fitness training facility will likely have recommendations or classes that can help you with your goals.

If you’re trying to lose weight, focus on cardio. Walking, running, swimming, and similar exercises are all good for weight loss. If you’re trying to build muscle mass, focus on weights. Yoga and other workouts that promote stretching can increase flexibility.

The balance diet and exercise is as individual as you are. Your fitness goals will determine what you eat as well as how much and when. Finally, make sure you’re balancing your diet with the appropriate amount of exercise at least five days a week.

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