Nutrition and Physical Activity

Food, an essential element to our living, is consumed regularly by people in at least three different parts of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because of its consistent use, it is highly important that we know how to properly manage its consumption. Food can either bring an advantage or disadvantage to the human body. Therefore, it is also important to get physical activity to get rid of the food that causes a disadvantage. Physical activity provides many other benefits to the human body as well. That is why the two components of nutrition and physical activity come hand-in-hand, providing many benefits for people to live a healthier and stabler lifestyle.  

What we eat daily can have a tremendous effect on how we feel both mentally and physically. For example, traditional foods have been linked to 25% to 35% less depression than those who eat ‘Western’ foods. This is because traditional foods tend to be higher in vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, the opposite is also true. Diets that are high in ingredients like sugar have been harmful to the brain. They increase the stimulation of inflammation and stress. Other studies have shown that sugar has a correlation with impaired brain function and mood disorders.

The food we eat not only has a impact on us mentally, but can also affect us physically. The more calories we consume everyday and the less we burn can the higher the risk of weight gain. If we consume the same amount of calories that burn off each day, our weight remains stable. In addition to this, it is important to know which types of calories we are intaking. For instance, low-fat diets are often high in carbohydrates, especially from wheat bread and white rice. Furthermore, diets high in these categories increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain. For a stable health, the type of fat we eat is more important than the amount we eat. For example, a study conducted on 42,000 middle-aged and older women for 8 years showed that an increase of trans and saturated fat was linked to weight gain. However, an increased consumption of healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) was not.

Managing your fat and calorie intake is just one part of staying healthy; there needs to be a way for the body to manage weight outside of just dietary restrictions. This is where exercise comes in. Worldwide, physical inactivity is presumed to be the cause of about 21-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and 30% of ischemic heart disease. From reducing your risk of heart attack, blood cholesterol level to managing your weight, there is no doubt that exercising has great health benefits. In addition to physical benefits, exercise offers plenty of more psychological benefits as well. Exercising can block negative thoughts and distract you from daily stressors, lift your mood and increase your sleep patterns. Exercise may also change some chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones. While it might seem daunting, the hard part is not exercising: its exercising consistently. In this modern day and age, consistency is very important. There are countless amounts of things that are distracting us from achieving our goals and having a productive day. Therefore, it is very important that we assess our situation and think about our physical goals, so that we can see some long term impact.

Modern society has taught us to become fully devout to our jobs. We are taught to get all of our clients taken care of, all of the interview papers submitted on time, and all of the homework assignments in one week early. However, how many of us have actually taken the time to consider our physical health? In this progressing society, it is extremely important that we are always staying dietarily and physically healthy. The advancement of social media and technology has taken us away from the mobile civilization we always were. There have been proven reports, experiments and statistics that support and list the positive factors of keeping a balanced weight and a consistent activity log. Therefore, it should be a mandatory effort upon us to manage our food intake as well as physical activity because they both go hand in hand and can ultimately cause serious long-term issues if not taken care of.