Diet vs Exercise - Which Is More Effective?

By Balvinder Sandhu, 27 June 2018 2811

Exercising is an essential part of being healthy. The importance of being in shape cannot be underestimated - When you're fit, you'll lower your risks of getting diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart-related illnesses. It's also crucial to maintain an ideal weight as being overweight exposes you to serious health issues.

But staying healthy goes beyond weight loss goals. Your quality of life also improves when you're fit. You will have more energy to enjoy the things you love, and also have a longer, more fulfilling life.

So what's the best way to stay healthy?

Diet or Exercise?

Going on a diet is useful if you have specific weight-loss goals in mind, for example, to drop a dress size in a few weeks. The logic here is simple: if you cut out unhealthy foods during a particular time frame, you'll reap the rewards in the form of pounds lost. Generally unhealthy eaters especially will see quicker results if they change their diet as giving up treats such as sugar-laden soft drinks or fried food and instead indulging in, say, salads or steamed vegetables will impact your weight – and overall health – in a positive way.

However, being on a specific type of diet might not work in the long run. Once your weight-loss goals are achieved, it's not uncommon to fall off the wagon and go back to old habits. It also takes a lot of discipline to stick to a diet so it's not unheard of for dieters to give up after a few weeks.

The most effective way to get healthy on a diet is to always choose healthy food instead of going on any fad diets. When you eat healthily, you'll have better overall nutrition and it'll be easier to stay in shape too.

Exercise, on the other hand, is more beneficial in meeting your long-term health goals. Leading a sedentary lifestyle could lead to all sorts of health problems, so it's important to stay active.

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which helps to relieve pain and stress. Exercise is good for your mental health too, thanks to the release of chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which regulate your mood.

Working out also increases your heart rate and this is good for overall heart health, as it comes with additional benefits such as strengthening your heart, improving your heart muscles and increasing blood flow to the muscles that need nutrients and oxygen.

For overall health, both diet and exercise go hand-in-hand so find a workout routine that suits your lifestyle and add more healthy and nutritious food (and even superfoods) to your daily diet. And for maximum health benefits, here are some additional tips to keep healthy.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water boosts our immune system, increases energy levels, prevents cramps and sprains while exercising, and flushes out toxins, thus reducing the risk of conditions such as kidney stones and urinary tract infections. It's also a natural appetite suppressant so drink a glass of water before every meal and you'll eat less.

Get Moving

It's very important to keep active as a sedentary lifestyle is to blame for many health issues. If you have a desk-bound job, make a point to move away from your desk every 20-30 minutes, even if it's just to walk around the office. And, if you enjoy watching TV at home, do a quick workout during commercial breaks; exercises like sit-ups or jumping jacks are perfect for such short breaks.

If you don't have the time for a workout routine, fit in a walk as this is a simple exercise that has numerous health benefits. Even walking in small spurts helps – get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way, or take the stairs instead of the lift every day.

Eat Healthy

A healthy diet is an essential part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle so look out for the Healthier Choice symbol when you're shopping for groceries. Also ensure that you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals and snack on healthy foods like fruits or nuts instead of sugary treats. Superfoods such as blueberries, chia seeds, turmeric, acai berries, avocados and salmon are extremely beneficial for your health so eat them as often as possible.

Sleep Well

Getting adequate sleep is important for our health so make sure you get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation could lead to health issues such as weight gain, weakened immunity and increased blood pressure so rest well for the sake of your health. 


Important Notes:
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.