Sunday, August 22, 2010

Get Fit: Diet Vs. Exercise


In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat right all the time. But that's not always possible, so we turned to the experts to find out what really matters most—dieting or exercise—for losing weight, fighting disease, and boosting overall well-being. Here, we crown the champ in each category.

Boost Energy

The winner: Exercise

The reason: Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, says Patrick O'Connor, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the University of Georgia. People who train consistently report surges in energy, according to some 70 studies.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

The winner: Diet

The reason: "If you had to focus on one nutrient that would lower your heart disease risk, it would be omega-3 fatty acids," says William Harris, Ph.D., director of the cardiovascular health research center at the University of South Dakota. In studies, omega-3s from oily fish lower heart disease risk by up to 64 percent. That said, working out does strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Prevent Diabetes

The winner: Exercise

The reason: Nearly 10 million American women have diabetes. Achieving a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the strongest defense against the disease, but physical activity has a slight edge. Active muscles gobble up glucose from the blood for fuel, which helps keep blood-sugar levels stable.

Prevent Cancer

The winner: Both 

The reason: Eating a mostly plant-based diet and exercising regularly remain the gold standard for warding off cancer. Keep in mind: Studies have found the more consistently you work out, the greater the protection.

Improve Mood

The winner: Exercise

The reason: A 20-minute sweat session can be enough to perk up your mood for a whopping 12 hours, reports a University of Vermont study. It may also be as effective as medication for treating depression in some people. And exercise can lead to changes in the brain that strengthen your resolve against stress.

1 comments:

Blogger said...

New Diet Taps into Innovative Plan to Help Dieters Lose 23 Pounds in Just 21 Days!

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