New research highlights a sad reality — no matter how much you work out or how healthy you eat, a longer life will only occur if you do both of these things together.
The large study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and counters the popular belief that working out eliminates some of the risks of eating an unhealthy diet or that eating healthy things counteracts staying in bed all day.
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Researchers had a lot of data at their disposal, allowing them to publish a study that was thorough and that shed some light on a lot of issues. The data belonged to UK Biobank and came from over 350,000 people with a median age of 57, who filled out questionnaires about their diets and habits. At the start of the study, participants were healthy.
The study made some expected discoveries, like learning that participants who eat healthily and work out often had a lower mortality risk. Still, results highlighted that a healthy diet and frequent exercise were important independently.
“Physical activity is important. And whatever your physical activity is, diet is important,” said Dr. Melody Ding, lead author of the study.
While it seems obvious to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle when so many sources do so, our world often links these two elements, giving people some confusion. Workout culture often promotes unhealthy meals as rewards for a good workout session or eating healthy as a way to lose weight without having to exercise.
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What you eat and how often you move are issues that have been linked in our culture over the past decades. They shouldn’t be. It’s important for people to be purposeful on both of these matters, indulging every once in a while in rest and on food cravings, yet maintaining a balance of healthy eating and physical activity.