Women-only small group training studio in Lee's Summit

Exercise or nutrition — what’s “best” to focus on?

Exercise or nutrition — what’s “best” to focus on?

POSTED BY: Jennifer Hockaday on June 1, 2016, 12:32 p.m.

Recently I read a post from the New York Times, To Keep Obesity at Bay, Exercise May Trump Diet. It addresses a debate I’ve heard many times over the years — and it’s also a question that some of the women I train ask me. They want to know what they should focus on — getting in enough exercise or paying attention to their nutrition.

Jenn Hockaday Time 2 Change Fitness for Women trainer

Jenn Hockaday, ACE CPT and NASM Women’s Fitness Specialist at Time 2 Change Fitness for Women in Lee’s Summit

For almost every fitness question I’m asked, my answer is “it depends.” And that goes for this topic, too. There are many factors that are unique and individual to each women that will ultimately determine her personal rate of fat loss and fitness performance. I do, however, think that in general, we have to be committed to both good nutrition and a fitness routine, in order to achieve maximum potential.

Progress, not perfection

Even though I say women need to be committed to both nutrition and fitness, I don’t mean they need to be perfect! Because who can be, after all? It’s more about making progress and keeping a focus on both vs. striving for unattainable perfection. And when it comes to progress and focus, I love seeing the dedication of our Time 2 Change Fitness for Women members who keep moving forward — doing their best at choosing healthy food and coming in to work out at our fitness studio!

Something to keep in mind is how these two things go together. For example, especially with an active lifestyle we need to eat multiple times per day, every day. And when you’re doing our 45-minute workout sessions two, three or more times per week, you’ll find yourself thinking more about nutrition throughout the day. That makes sense, because it’s the fuel we need to power our active lifestyle.

This is why fitness professionals recommend pre-planning and prepping your meals throughout the week, to keep nutrition simple and convenient while still working on your fitness goals.

Let the debate continue

Researchers will, I’m sure, continue to debate what’s better — getting enough exercise or watching what we eat. We don’t have to pick one over the other, but let’s choose to incorporate both aspects so we can live a healthy, fit life.

To read more about Jenn Hockaday, visit her team page.