“It’s OK if I eat extra fries tonight - I’m going to the gym in the morning.” Sound familiar?
We feel we can afford ourselves the leniency of eating unhealthy foods as long as our outward appearances don’t reflect our questionable food choices. Is this short-term thinking going to be beneficial in the long run?
WHY SHOULD I EXERCISE?
Far too often, the main objective of working out is to look good. While commonly assumed that a physique that looks toned and fit is one of health, this is not necessarily the case. There is a lot going on inside your body that is far more reflective of your overall health than just your physical appearance.
Hot on the heels of our blog about macronutrient distribution, it is important to callout that not all macronutrients are created equally. Making sure you eat the correct number of calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals is important to honing in on a healthy body, but taking it a step further is crucial for long term health. Consistently consuming unhealthy foods under the guise of “burning it off at the gym” has a cumulative effect on your body.
CHOOSE LONG-TERM HEALTH
You may know somebody that exercises regularly, but is also on doctor prescribed medication that is treating an ailment that could’ve been avoided with dietary changes. In your young adult years, you are making choices that will ultimately determine what medications you will need for the latter 10-30 years of your life, based on diet and lifestyle decisions. If you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s ask yourself, “do I want to be on blood pressure medication from the time I am 60 until I die?” The answer is (hopefully) “No!” But, this is the choice you are making in your younger years if you consistently think you can go to the gym to exercise off the bacon cheeseburger, as an example.
YOU CAN INDULGE INFREQUENTLY
Mind you, indulging once in a while, and in moderation is OK. Your body, given a steady diet of the right foods that provide nutrients, vitamins and minerals, can recover well from one-off moments of indiscretion. It just can’t be a habit if you have hopes of life longevity and sustained health.
YOU CAN'T OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET!
The ultimate takeaway here is that you cannot out exercise a bad diet. Long-term health will always point out where you have regular dietary indiscretions, regardless of how toned you may look on the outside. Take care to eat right, and your mind and body health will follow and reward you with many years of optimal performance.