Dieting and exercise are important for keeping your body in tip-top shape, but many people struggle with both. But exercising and dieting don’t necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, both processes can help you feel your best. But, as is true with most things, it is important to consider your options.
Should you exercise to lose weight? Or should you just diet? Should you exercise to lose weight? Or should you just diet? Considering combining the two or doing each separately? If you’re looking to shed some extra weight, a combination of exercise and dieting may be the answer.
What Is Exercising?
When you exercise, the last thing you think of is whether or not you’re doing it right. And for the most part, you’re doing it right. However, there are certain things you should consider before you start exercising.
Exercising is simply moving your body in some way. A movement can be as simple as standing up from a chair or as complex as running a marathon. Exercise does a few things for your body, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight – Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your health, especially if you are trying to lose weight. But figuring out what exercises to do and how often to do it can be tough. Fitness experts agree that general fitness is key. And you don’t need to spend an hour at the gym three times a week. Walking, dancing, and swimming are great exercises as well.
- Protect your heart – Your body adapts to regular exercise, keeping your heart healthy. Regular exercise has been proven to boost your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer of Americans. However, if you work out too much, you run the risk of developing a cardiovascular problem called ‘damaged heart syndrome.’ Exercising too much can cause your heart to enlarge, which increases your risk of a heart attack. Find out how much exercise you should be getting and its effect on your heart.
- Reduces the risk of chronic disease – Exercise has many health benefits; first and foremost, it increases the strength and flexibility of your muscles. It also helps your body to maintain a healthy weight and reduces your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. People who frequently exercise also tend to report fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and physical instability.
- Boosts your immune system – Regular exercise can boost your immune system, but what type of exercise should you be doing? The key is to find an activity that’s both enjoyable and challenging but not so intense that you’re working too hard. For the best results, include aerobic activity (e.g., walking, jogging, biking) with strength training (e.g., weight training, push-ups, planks).
What Is Dieting?
Dieting is necessary to remove the foods that cause us to feel ill and allow our bodies to function at an optimal level.
Eating a healthy diet is important, but losing weight is not the only thing to consider. If dieting is the only focus, it can be easy to lose sight of why dieting is necessary in the first place. Certain foods can make us feel sluggish, light-headed, and tired.
What Are the Myths of Dieting?
- Skipping meals will save calories – Skipping meals is a tried-and-true way to cut calories, but it doesn’t work. Any time a dieter skips a meal, they end up eating more later on, and over the last few days, a dieter may eat 100 extra calories a day, which equals 500 extra calories a week, or 1,500 extra calories a month. You may need to skip a meal to cut calories, but eating regularly is crucial to weight loss.
- You can’t eat after 8 p.m. – Many dieters believe that one post-dinner snack or meal means their days are numbered. They think that if they eat after 8 p.m., they’re doomed to gain weight. But is this true? Do calories really count after 8 p.m.? No. A late-night snack doesn’t have the same impact on the body as a meal. In fact, your body processes calories differently.
- You should only eat low-fat foods – There are plenty of people out there who believe that eating low-fat foods is the way to go when trying to lose weight. Others believe that you should only eat foods that fit a certain dietary category, such as carbs, fruits, or vegetables. But do any of those myths hold up? Let’s take a look at the most common dieting myths (and try to bust them).
Exercising and dieting go hand in hand. The better shape you’re in, the more energy you’ll have, and the better you will feel. But, while it’s easy to be excited about getting started, it can also be overwhelming when you’ve never tried an exercise regime, or you have sleep apnea and need to know what is best for you.