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NUTRITION VS. EXERCISE Is One Better than the Other?

Posted on 08 March 2012

Andy Kress

In America, there are almost as many views on what good health really means as there are diets and workout regimens. One school says that Americans are too sedentary and need movement and exercise. Others suggest that it is the American diet and the way we eat that is at the root of our problem. One thing no one can argue about: Widespread child and adult obesity plagues our country big time, and it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with now.

Nutrition is a fundamental necessary of life. We all eat—just not particularly well. Fail to get enough hydration, air, and food, in that order, and you will most assuredly die. While most of us aren’t at that extreme, the majority falls into that giant arena of nutritionally deficient. Millions and millions of Americans, gay and straight, have only a vague perception of healthy eating. Among them are the millions that dutifully go to the gym and workout without ever realizing  that their efforts are futile without giving the body the fuel it needs to benefit from exercise.

While following a varied diet (as illustrated in the pyramid plate) is always a good idea, eating proper portions of these healthy foods is just as essential. Too much of anything is gluttony, so try keep your portions around the guidelines of a 2000 calorie diet—or slightly less if weight loss is your goal.

Eating these foods at the correct time of day is just as critical as the portion size. Eating less food more often provides a continuous source of energy for your body, whether it is exercising or not. Keep in mind, that your body burns calories even in the most sedentary individuals, due to the fact that the human body needs to maintain organ and brain functions to stay alive.

Exercise is important and needed in everyone’s life to maintain muscular and skeletal strength. Without it, muscles eventually atrophy. Tom Bonanti’s Fitness column offers some excellent ways to vary your routines.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, the most common type of exercise is carrying excess fat as we walk around—and then only just enough to make it from one seat to the next. Appetite alone motivates most of us from one meal to the next. It is imperative that we  re-assess that behavior immediately. Do anything less and you absolutely
are shaving years, if not decades, off  your life.

While exercise is vitally important in the mix, it must take second place to nutrition. Without adequate nutrition, you cannot have good health. Without good health, you will not be able to work out effectively, even if common sense tells you you must.

Only by putting these two elements together can you ever hope to achieve dramatic results. Proper diet and exercise can do wonders for the mind and the body, as well as lift your spirits. Eating portioned controlled meals (especially as we age) throughout the day, coupled with moderate exercise during the week, is the state-of-the-art way to achieve overall health.

No crash diet or pill, or hurried explosive exercise routine will last long. These are short-term fixes for what should be a long-term goal. Knowing the facts on what it takes to be healthy is the best start to overall success. Please choose wisely and remember to keep all things (nutrition included) in moderation.

Fast facts: The correct diet will trim the fat; the correct exercise will tone the muscles. Pair them together and become the best you can be. Forever.

 Andy Kress is a nationally certified fitness trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional counselor.  He can be  reached at 954-789-3930 or via email

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