Diet or exercise? It depends on the goal

Strength training is possibly even more important than a healthy diet. (AP)

WASHINGTON – When it comes to getting healthy, which matters most – diet or exercise?

Well, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, according to Women’s Health.

For weight loss, dieting is the best method according to research. It’s more practical, too. It’s easier to cut 500 calories out of a diet than find an hour to spend at the gym.

Dieting wins again when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease. One suggestion is to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3s from fish oil decrease heart disease more than 60 percent in some studies.

For a better mood and an energy boost, exercise is the way to go because the brain’s neurotransmitters release dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulate mood and behavior.

But when it comes to avoiding cancer, both diet and exercise are critical. Muscles use up extra glucose when they move, helping to stave off diabetes. Plant based diets are also great for reducing the risk of cancer.

WTOP’s Alan Etter contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.


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