A photo of Anna from Feed Your Passion walking with her dogs

If I eat a healthy diet do I really need to exercise?

Anna discusses the benefits of exercise alongside eating a balanced, healthy diet. Is nutrition enough to feel your best? How can you fit exercise in to your busy schedule?

If you’re not eating well, you might not feel like being active. This could be because you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to allow you to function well. If you aren’t used to being active, you may think it’s a lot of effort and you that you don’t enjoy exercise. Perhaps you think that to improve your health and feel good, you just need to eat a healthy diet.

There’s no doubt you’re taking a big step by improving your diet; a balanced and healthy diet is pivotal in our overall wellbeing and can significantly reduce the risk of many diseases or conditions. That’s why I’m so passionate about nutrition and supporting you to make that change!

There’s no doubt you’re taking a big step by improving your diet; a balanced and healthy diet is pivotal in our overall wellbeing and can significantly reduce the risk of many diseases or conditions.

I also think that taking time out for R&R is important; resting is underrated and there’s too much pressure to always be on the go. Do make sure that you hit the off switch sometimes and immerse yourself in a world of chilled out pleasure.

That said, if you don’t do any exercise at all, you’re depriving yourself!  Exercise isn’t just about getting fit, pushing yourself or trying to get that evasive six pack.

Exercise isn’t just about getting fit, pushing yourself or trying to get that evasive six pack.

Twenty minutes of moderate exercise will cause the following to happen in your body:

  • Your cardiovascular system speeds up and pumps more blood around your body.
  • Your body burns fat and carbohydrates to provide your muscles with energy.
  • Your brain releases endorphins, which make you feel more positive and optimistic.
  • Your increased heart rate means that more blood reaches your brain, immediately improving brain function. You’ll feel more alert and active afterwards.
  • The hard work by your cardiovascular system and creating energy for your muscles causes a rise in body temperature.  After you’ve exercised, your body temperature drops again.  This can help to reduce stress and improve your night’s sleep.
  • Aerobic exercise has been found to naturally increase levels or serotonin and dopamine, both of which help to improve our mood.
  • Physical exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system, this triggers a chain of reactions that results in anti-inflammatory effects.

Regularly exercising for 20 minutes or more brings even more long term benefits for your mind and body, including:

  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Reducing stress.
  • Reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Reducing the risk of diabetes.
  • Aiding weight loss.

So if you choose not to partake in any exercise at all, you’re more likely to feel depressed and sluggish. This means you’re more likely to suffer from a range of physical health problems.

If you don’t like sports, that is fine… there are activities out there that you’ll enjoy and that will make you feel great! You don’t have to be an athlete to be active enough for great health!

There are activities out there that you’ll enjoy and that will make you feel great!

You might enjoy dancing, trampolining, outdoor swimming (just a quick dip in nature’s swimming pool is incredibly beneficial for your mental and physical health), roller skating, gardening, volunteering to walk dogs in a homeless shelter of for an elderly neighbour… the list is endless!

Dancing while you cook is great exercise!

Bad weather or a health condition may make getting outside difficult for you. Fear not, there are some great online classes available; try yoga, pilates or zumba (depending on how energetic you feel). Even some simple stretches from your chair will help to get your body moving.

Whether it’s gentle stretching and a stroll or madly dancing to your favourite tunes, I recommend that you exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes, 5 days a week. You can always build up from there, but if not you’re still doing yourself a huge favour and will feel so much better for it.

Exercise, in any form, is fantastic for our minds and bodies.

Feed Your Passion was born out of the idea that a nutritious and balanced diet can be an easy and effective path to better health and wellbeing, but I also know that exercise, in any form, is fantastic for our minds and bodies too.  Personally, I love a swim in the sea or a river, surfing, some yoga and hiking with my dogs. Exercise can be something entirely different for you. Neither eating well or exercise is as effective alone as it is coupled with the other. 

Personally, I love a swim in the sea or a river, surfing, yoga and hiking with my dogs.


“Start now, wherever you are, with whatever you have” and enjoy the enhanced benefits of both great diet and regular exercise, you’ll thank yourself later. 

Sign up to become a Feed Your Passion member, not only will you have access to all of my great nutrition advice and recipes but you can also benefit from some great ideas for getting active.

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