Effects of a Balanced Diet and Regular Exercise

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

This article is published as part of Nutri Inspector’s scholarship application by Jessica Bergman who studies at Liberty University.

Exercising regularly is an excellent way to boost ones metabolism, mental health, and overall energy levels. Today, Americans have the opportunity to enjoy exercise in more ways than ever before. Local gyms, sports leagues, and other public events make exercise readily available for people of all passions and skill levels. Yet public health experts maintain that only ten percent of adult Americans exercise regularly (Physical Fitness).

The majority of students who don’t exercise, agree that exercising is inconvenient, and that they lack motivation to do so. Exercise is not the only way to preserve fitness though; many people have successfully maintained their health through correct eating choices. Developing a custom calorie intake is the first step in losing weight, which in turn causes benefits such as healthier joints, a stronger metabolism, lower risks of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, and a boost in overall fitness (Physical Fitness Boom).

There are many people that desire to be healthy, but they genuinely don’t have the time or resources required for exercising. Though they do not enjoy the benefits of exercise, they are able to maintain fitness through a balanced diet. Everyone has a different metabolism; therefore a balanced diet will vary from person to person. Rachel Johnson, a university of Vermont nutrition specialist, says, “Be active enough to enable yourself to have an energy [calorie] intake that lets you enjoy your food.” if exercise is not coupled with a healthy diet, it can often prove to be an ineffectual method for improving ones fitness.

It is crucial to have a varied diet in order to absorb essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. These essential nutrients have many diverse functions, and a reasonable consumption of them can affect almost every aspect of the body in a positive way.

Virtually all ailments can be linked to a corresponding vitamin deficiency, and in some cases, vitamins have been the sole key to restoring health to people afflicted with common illnesses. (Diet and Health) Medical experts say many fruits and vegetables help prevent and treat certain diseases.

Apples aid in digestion and help alleviate constipation and diarrhea. Carrots help prevent lung cancer, reduce the risk for other cancers, and help lower blood cholesterol. Red grapes contain polyphenols, which lower blood pressure. Strawberries and other berries help strengthen blood vessels and contain high amounts of cancer-fighting antioxidants, plus they are high in fiber and have more vitamin C than oranges. (Diet and Health)

For those who are willing to put in the effort of maintaining a healthy diet, exercise can be a very fun, rewarding process. Today, many people turn to sports for their daily exercise instead of the gym because of the motivational atmosphere that sports provide. Children are the most likely to gravitate to this style of exercise, but according to an article done on physical fitness, “children are more inactive than ever before. Fortunately, innovative physical educators are continuing to reverse the trend by acquainting kids with activities that interest them-and that can help them maintain fitness through life.” (Youth Fitness).

Almost everyone can find a sport that suits his or her individual needs because of the sundry of athletics to choose from, ranging from high intensity sports such as running or cycling, to more relaxing activities such as water aerobics. Through sports, many people have found an effective exercise program as well as a life long passion.

Unfortunately, people rarely stick to their grueling exercise regimens, although those who do, enjoy a major boost in numerous aspects of their lives. The two most common of these aspects are: improved physical fitness, and enhanced mental fitness. In addition to the decreased risk of degenerative diseases, some of the benefits of regularly exercising are; increased energy levels, as well as superior concentration skills.

Exercising also provides a major boost in the circulatory system, which in turn promotes blood flow to the brain and extremities in the body (Physical Fitness). The pulmonary system is also heavily affected by exercise, which helps to supply an abundance of oxygen to the brain. A study known as “the most extensive analysis yet of the effects of fitness on longevity”, concluded that exercise could even play a role in preventing cancer (Physical Fitness).

Perhaps the biggest reason that people choose to exercise is because of the fact that those who choose to do so, enjoy considerably longer lives, as well as a better quality of life. Men and women who do stick to their exercise routines enjoy benefits that go beyond just a healthier body. They also tend to excel in mentally or physically demanding situations.

People that are in good shape can enjoy life on a different scale than their sedentary friends. Some people who wish to enjoy some of nature’s most breathtaking views are hampered by the fact that they would not survive the long, strenuous hike to get there.

William Prentice, coordinator of the sports medicine program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill asserts, “A student may not be able to participate in activities such as swimming, mountain climbing, skiing, backpacking, or scuba diving because of a lack of fitness. Even if an unfit student does participate in these activities, his or her safety, proficiency and enjoyment may be considerably less than that of a person with a higher level of fitness.” prentice goes on to say, “without regular exercise, a college student may fall victim to depression and a variety of nagging physical ailments.”

To some, the thrill that comes with a physically demanding activity such as kayaking or repelling can only be experienced through movies. It comes as no surprise that “action and adventure” is one of the most popular movie genres in Hollywood. People want to experience the thrills that they see in a movie, but only a select few actually get the opportunity to do so.

Developing a healthy diet and exercise routine could possibly be the most effective way to counteract a myriad of physical ailments. Many people who used to spend thousands of dollars for doctor appointments have found an inexpensive, yet successful cure in their choice to exercise and eat right. Today, nutrition and exercise specialists are encouraging people to learn about how a healthy diet and regular exercise can affect them personally, and in the future, more and more people will take advantage of this miracle cure.

Works Cited​

  • Leepson Marc. “Physical Fitness.” (CQ Researcher) 6 Nov. 1992:953-76. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
  • Worsnop, Richard L. “Youth Fitness.” (CQ Researcher.) 26 Sept. 1997: Web. 26 Apr. 2015
  • “Physical Fitness Boom.” Editorial Research Reports 1978 vol. 1. Washington: CQ Press, 1978. 261-80.
  • . (CQ Researcher). Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
  • “Nutrition, Exercise Standards Revised (Special Report).” (Issues & Controversies.) InfoBase learning, Sept. 2002. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
  • Masci, David. “Diet and Health.” (CQ Researcher) 23 Feb. 2001: 129-60. Web. 3 May 2015.

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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