Prepare healthy foods, or exercise? Are you doing both?

Posted 08/02/2013 | By HealthCorps

You have a set amount of time daily for what we call “lifestyle habits.”  If you spend time preparing food so that you have healthier meals and snacks, will you still keep your fitness commitment?  Apparently not, according to a new Ohio State University study.  The study analyzed available data on over 112,000 Americans.  According to the information available, if someone spent an extra 10 minutes on food preparation, it was likely to result in ten less minutes on exercise.

The findings suggest that one healthy behavior can take away time from another healthy behavior.  So when public health recommendations are made, one can’t assume that someone will “keep adding them on” to an already taxed day.  More than likely, they will adjust and limit the time devoted to one health pursuit, and then add the time to another health pursuit.  So health experts need to assume a person will give a finite amount of time to healthy living, and lifestyle recommendations need to take that into account.  Adding a new healthy habit, may come at the expense of another healthy behavior.

That’s why your fitness regimen may benefit from some shorter, more intense exercise experiences.  Try shaving some time off your cardiovascular exercise by adding some short high intensity intervals.  Those time savings can allow you the extra time needed to shop for and prepare healthier meals.

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