You've heard this advice before: the best way to stay healthy as you get older is to eat right and exercise. Why do you need to do both? A Harvard researcher has some answers in a new study that says there's a link between increased physical activity and the quality of a person's diet.
Researcher Miguel Alonso Alonso says that starting an exercise program appears to help people adopt a healthier diet as well. One reason may be that people who exercise are more sensitive to physiological signs of fullness, Alonso Alonso says. People who exercise are also likely to stick to a diet and to keep weight off long term, he says.
He also adds another reason to exercise as you get older: studies have shown that regular exercise increases the number of neural connections in the parts of the brain that control executive functions. That means it is easier to say no to temptation, like that doughnut your colleague just offered you.
So you do need to do both. Start with exercise and then you may find it easier to modify your diet.