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Diet and Exercise

For those of us fortunate enough to live in the more affluent parts of the world, we have much choice in the way we lead our lives. Most people would agree that our health and fitness is of paramount importance and that the most important factors which contribute to this are diet and exercise (along with whether we choose to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco and use other recreational drugs).

I have a good friend with whom I walk on a regular basis – usually in the Lake District (Cumbria). On a recent walk, we were discussing my level of fitness when my friend commented that it was surely down to the amount of cycling I had been doing. I suggested that, whilst my level of exercise was clearly a contributing factor, I felt that my diet had played a massive part. Shortly after this conversation, I came across the following diagram, which illustrates the 80 : 20 rule. Both diet and exercise are very important in maintaining health and fitness, but, of the two, it is diet which, by far, plays the most important part.


As far as the impotance of diet is concerned, it is interesting to note the following quote from Thomas Edison (1847 -1931) :

'The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. '

For those cosidering a vegan diet, a useful website is :

On this site, in the section about 'Vegan People' (in which I feature) the following quotes can be found :

In his book ‘Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness’ Scott Jurek explains how adopting a vegan diet improved his performance:'

'The better I ate, the better I felt. The better I felt, the more I ate. Since going vegan I had lost a layer of fat - the layer that came with eating the cookies and cakes and Twinkies and cheese pizza that so many omnivores and even vegetarians gulp down. I learned that I could eat more, enjoy it more, and still get leaner than I had ever been in my life. When I went vegan I started eating more whole grains and legumes, fruit and vegetables. My cheekbones seemed more pronounced, my face more chiseled. Muscles I didn't even know I had popped out. I was eating more, losing weight, and gaining muscle - all on a vegan diet'.

A comment about Christine Vardaros (Cyclist) :

“She found that her earlier vegetarian diet gave her an edge over her competitors with a faster recovery time. So, she thought why not go the full way and become a vegan. Almost immediately she felt all her symptoms go away, she was able to breath better, and take part in hard races and recover quicker. ”

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