The importance of nutrition on physical activity

In order to stay healthy at any age, nutrition and physical activity are important to cultivate. The right nutrition would include a balanced diet where “the right amount of calories and nutrients to maintain a healthy weight” is consumed. And what would be considered as physical activity “is any form of movement that uses energy.”

Health Benefits

The health benefits of good nutrition and physical activity can be split into two categories. The first is what it can reduce the risk of or help prevent. This includes “chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, […] some cancers,” weight gain, high cholesterol, obesity, osteoporosis, high blood sugar, and kidney disease.

The second category is what it can do to improve your health. This includes promoting weight loss, improving your overall well-being, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, strengthening muscles, bones, and joints, improving mood, energy levels, your ability to fight off illnesses, your ability to recover from illness or injury, feeling better about yourself, managing stress better, and toning your body.

How much physical activity do I need to do to be healthy?

In order to achieve a healthy routine “aim for 150 minutes per week—or at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week—of moderate physical activity.” The way to determine if you are doing a moderate activity is if “you can talk—but not sing—while doing [the activity], such as brisk walking or dancing.” These are the type of “activities [that] speed up your heart rate and breathing.”

It is always a good idea to “work slowly toward the goal of 150 minutes per week” and spread the time out into multiple sections “if you haven’t been active.” The worst thing you can do is to push too hard in the beginning and injure yourself. “Even if you do as little as 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a week” at 10 or 15 minute increments, “you can still gain some health benefits.”

But if just getting into a healthy habit is not enough for you and the goal is “to lose weight and keep it off, you may need to be even more active.”  The time goal would be “300 minutes per week, or an hour a day [for] 5 days a week.” These activities then will differ on what your goals are. Strength exercises are better at reducing fat quicker, but cardio and endurance are also important in order to be balanced.

Why is good nutrition important?

Eating well is important because without the proper nutrition the body will not run properly. Think of the body as being like a car. When you fill a car with gas there are three options: regular, plus, and premium. If your car requires premium gas in order to run properly, but you fill it with regular or plus gas, the car will not run as well when it comes to power and fuel-efficiency. Only when it is filled with premium does it work better. It is exactly the same with nutrition and the body. Bad nutrition leads to bad output. Good nutrition will allow the body to have a higher physical output. A healthy diet includes having “vegetables, fruits, and small portions of protein and whole grains” that provide all the “nutrients, vitamins, and minerals [the body] needs to work its best.”

Portion control is an important part of good nutrition because in order to lose or maintain weight it is crucial to take into account calorie intake and loss. A calorie is the unit that measures “the energy in food.” The “body has a constant demand for energy and uses the calories from food to keep functioning.”

Good sources of calories come from carbohydrates, fats and proteins and they are the “main energy sources for [the] body.” Once calories are consumed, they are “either converted to physical energy or stored within your body as fat.” Where it applies to nutrition and exercise is the fact that “these stored calories will remain in [the] body as fat unless [they are used] up, either by reducing calorie intake so that [the] body must draw on reserves for energy, or by increasing physical activity so that you burn more calories.”

The general rule when trying to lose weight is “if you cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your typical diet, you’ll lose about 1 pound […] a week.”



1“The Importance of Good Nutrition: Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred.” The Importance of Good Nutrition | Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred,

2“Keep Active and Eat Healthy to Improve Well-Being and Feel Great.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Jan. 2018,

3“Nutrition and Physical Activity.” Nutrition and Physical Activity | Health & Senior Services,

4“Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.” Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity | Healthy People 2020,

5“Counting Calories: Get Back to Weight-Loss Basics.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Dec. 2020,