What role does nutrition and exercise play in over all health? How do these two parts work together for better quality of life?
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen...
~70% of your health and fat loss progress is going to be made outside the gym. It's in what you eat, it's in how much you sleep, and it's in how you handle the stress of life. If you find that you're pushing yourself like mad in the gym, you have muscles for days, and yet there is still some softness left around your middle, there are probably a few things you should be addressing:
Wheat and Processed Junk
You don't have to go all out Paleo to get the benefits of a cleaner diet. Try cutting out anything made from wheat, even whole wheat, or anything processed to start better regulating insulin levels, help with nutrient absorption, and it will also leave room to create a more nutrient dense meal as opposed to a calorie dense one.
We need sleep. Go without for a few days, or just go with less, and you start performing worse at physical and cognitive tasks. Sleep occurs in phases, and scientists are just starting to figure out how the phases of sleep, outside Rapid Eye Movement (REM), affect memory retention and hormonal regulation.
The media is catching on to how stress, and it's resultant raised cortisol levels, can cause waist fat retention. What cortisol does is raise insulin, and as we discussed before, insulin is a storage hormone. When cortisol is high, and then insulin is high, you get a drop in blood sugar, and if you're on a carb heavy diet, you're going to get the sugar cravings. Then that sugar is heading straight to the belt-line.
Where does exercise fit in?
While you can't exercise your way out of bad nutrition and lifestyle choices, getting to the gym can help you in the following ways:
-Help you sleep deeper
-Help regulate hormones, particularly testosterone and HGH
-Increase insulin sensitivity through increase in muscle mass
-Increase bone density, less likely to get fractures from other activities or age
-Phycological effects such as decreases in stress and increase in self confidence
-And depending on the type of training you do (HIIT and strength, y'all!) you can get a metabolic "after burn"
So think about your overall day, and start approaching health as a 24/7 body-love fest!