You do not need to be a regular Nutrientology reader to know that both proper diet and exercise-movement are important for health, especially for those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes metabolic syndrome. Some people try to approach health with either diet or exercise, but both are important, and apparently exercise in particular can facilitate better diet habits through both physical and psychological influences.
In a study published in Obesity Reviews, a group of Harvard researchers show that an increase in physical activity is linked to an improvement in diet quality. When you exercise your body you become more cognizant of what you are eating. When you are asking your body to perform, and you experience its performance, you look at it with more respect giving more consideration to what you put into your body.
The researchers analyzed data from epidemiological studies, finding that tendencies towards a healthy diet, and the right amount of physical exercise go hand in hand. In other words, an increase in physical activity is usually linked to a parallel improvement in diet quality. Exercise also produces an increased sensitivity to physical and psychological signs of fullness. This not only means that appetite can be controlled better, but exercise also modifies pleasurable responses to food.
Exercise-movement can influence both your metabolism and your behavior. The authors state, “increased physical activity may help compensate and suppress the hedonic drive to over-eat.” In other words, you get more pleasure out of less food. You don’ need to “pig out” to feel like food is physically and mentally filling you up.
Exercise can also help promote good sleep. I have previously posted on the importance of good sleep for a healthy metabolism and blood pressure. Researchers evaluated 3,081 adults between 18 and 85 years of age,and found that 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise-movement seems to benefit a number of health indicators. Those engaged in the recommended exercise-movement had a 65% decreased risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day (suggesting they slept better). Similar results were also found for analysis of having leg cramps while sleeping and having difficulty concentrating when tired.
The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Depending on your work obligations and other lifestyle factors, you can think of the 150 minutes as 30 minutes per day for 5 days out of the week, or you can break this down even more. For example, the 10-15 minutes of walking that you may have to do as part of your day counts toward the 30 minutes. The point is to regularly and periodically move. Movement manages and modulates your metabolism. Incorporate some resistance “weightlifting” exercise into your activities as well.