When it comes to overall health and wellbeing, proper nutrition and exercise are equally important. Balanced nutrition and ample amounts of activity have been documented in research to support mood and immune health, provide relief from occasional stress, help us maintain a healthy weight and much more.
Our bodies were meant to be on the move. A large review of studies published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sitting for long periods was associated with worse health outcomes. Looking back at history, hunting and gathering were the main ways to obtain food. Then people began to farm and tend to their own crops and livestock. Each of these ways to obtain food also served as a daily workout.
During these times, diets were typically healthier overall also. People ate wild animals and foraged for berries and seeds. When people settled on farms, they raised their own free-range animals. Food is meant to fuel our body while also tasting good and providing nutritional value. But in modern times, we have gotten away from eating for fuel, and, unfortunately, many of us are often busy and on-the-go, so we rely on fast food.
Healthy foods are beneficial to heart and overall health, and exercise is just as important. A healthy, balanced and nutritionally-packed diet includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole grains, and minimal amounts of sugar and saturated fats. For exercise, we should move at least 30 minutes per day, and try to incorporate cardiovascular and weight-training exercises.