The debate of exercise and eating clean for a healthier lifestyle


Being healthy is not as effortless as social media influencers and personal trainers would have us think – but it does not have to be hard. There is a very integral difference between something requiring effort, and something that is too hard. After the first gym session, the chances are that any individual – particularly if they have not been to the gym in quite some time – is going to be in a world of pain. Opting to eat salmon and salad for lunch instead of a burger and fries seems like a sacrifice for some people, but the reality is the complete opposite. Healthy food can be quite fun and delicious, and if one treats their body right most of the time, they can indulge in that burger and fries every now and then without the guilt. Life is all about balance, which is why most diets make little to no sense. Rather than going on some radical diet and punishing one’s body, they should instead set about making some positive changes in their overall diet so that they can enjoy the best of both worlds. We only have one body – we should want to preserve and take care of it as best we can.

A person’s physical (not to mention emotional and mental) health is a prime example of the difference between something requiring effort and something being too hard. It is going to be hard the first day or two – it is a change, and change always takes some getting used to. But once the first few days have come and gone, it gets easier. It sounds like a hoax, but it is the honest truth. When initially starting to get into healthy living, some people struggle with the mere concept of it all. They go on diet instead of actively changing their eating habits in the long run. They eat less when they should be eating more (of the right foods). They sign up for a gym membership then never go because they are afraid of what other gym-goers will think of them, when in reality everyone in the gym that knows what they are doing is too focused on their own gym session to worry about what you are doing with yours. some people decide to take up running to get out in the environment as they improve their fitness, and then opt out when they reach the first hill on their running route. Some people exercise like there is no tomorrow but continue to punish their bodies by consuming processed, sugary, fatty foods. The reality is that (for most people) it is all about what you put into your body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than exercising. Exercising is an important part of maintaining one’s physical health, but it is only one spinning wheel in the machine.

Weight loss has been continuously linked to eating healthy foods and not necessarily to genetics (though there are definitively still individuals whose genes play a role in their ability to gain, lose, or maintain weight). The majority of people used to believe that genes played a much larger role in society’s general health than they do (again, for most people). While there are the unfortunate few that suffer with genetic conditions that impact their physical and mental health, most of us are responsible for our own health. Going on diets is rarely the answer, as most diets are radical and suggest cutting out so much that the individual ends up living off half – if that – of their daily recommended intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Being able to appreciate that there is no one ‘perfect’ diet can make all the difference to an individual’s mindset and their physical condition.

Taking healthy food tips and putting them into practice can make eating fun – without the guilt that is associated with consuming rapid amounts of unhealthy foods and drinks. The consumption of whole foods as opposed to processed foods puts individuals in a positive place, both physically and mentally. Rather than eating processed foods that are bad for the human body (like chocolate, potato chips, soft drinks), individuals can eat just as much of the healthy foods (like veggies, fruits, nuts, and tea) and feel three times as good as they would eating the unhealthy foods. Additionally, individuals can consume supplements and protein powders if they wish to, as well as aim to drink at least two litres of water a day. It all sounds like a lot, but once one begins it becomes second nature…and your body will feel better than ever. Your body will thank you time and time again.

Being healthy is not just about eating certain foods or exercising a certain number of days in the week. It is about compiling everything that one knows about their own body and about general health and fitness, and using that information to make better lifestyle choices that will ultimately lead to a better life. We only have one body after all, we should want to do everything that we can to ensure its longevity and overall health.

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