Diet & Exercise: Benefits Go Hand In Hand
There’s strong evidence that combining a healthy diet and regular exercise has an array of benefits for body and mind. But does eating well by itself lead to better physical fitness? That’s a question that researchers at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center recently sought to answer. To do so, they reviewed information from 2,380 middle-aged people who were part of the Framingham Heart Study. That included the results of an exercise test, as well as information about their daily diet.
After analyzing the data, the researchers estimated that people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet that was rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, fish, and healthy fats enjoyed physical benefits similar to those gained from walking about 4,000 extra steps a day. But one healthy habit shouldn’t replace another: Both diet and exercise are important. Although the study couldn’t demonstrate cause and effect, it suggests that a healthy diet is linked to better fitness during middle age.
“This study provides some of the strongest and most rigorous data thus far to support the connection that better diets may lead to higher fitness,” says one of the report’s authors.
Try this recipe today: Greek Salad
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