Diet vs Exercise - Which Matters Most?

Diet vs Exercise - Which Matters Most?

You’ve probably always heard the typical, “Don’t forget to eat your veggies,” or “You need to get out there and exercise more often!” Maybe you’re wondering if one of these matters more than the other. Which one should you be prioritizing in your day-to-day routine? 

We’re here to help you answer these questions. We’ve gone ahead and researched the differences between diet and exercise, and which one might matter more for your overall wellness. Keep reading to learn more!


What is diet? Despite popular belief, it doesn’t always mean adapting a new, strict “Food Code of Ethics,” and giving up all of your favorite things (who can live without dark chocolate bars, are we right?). 

The simple definition of diet is “the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism [1].” 

Everyone has daily nutritional intake needs. These needs are typically met by eating nutritious combinations of foods like fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and the essential nutrients your body needs to function properly. Some of these healthy goodies can include:

  • Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rice) or starchy tubers or roots (potato, yam, taro, or cassava).
  • Legumes (lentils and beans).
  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Foods from animal sources (meat, fish, eggs, and milk).

  • Experts recommend that everyone needs the following nutrients in their diets [2]:

    1. Carbohydrates (mostly come from plants): Includes starches and sugars.
    2. Fats (come from both plant and animal sources): Includes vegetable oils like olive oil and corn oil, and also includes animal fats from meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
    3. Proteins (found in nearly all foods in varying amounts): Includes animal products, legumes, whole grains, and nuts.
    4. MineralsMeat, legumes, and spinach are high in iron. Dairy products are high in calcium. 
    5. VitaminsCitrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are high in vitamin A.


    Did you know there are four main types of exercises? They are:

    1. Endurance Exercises
    2. Strength Exercises
    3. Balance Exercises
    4. Flexibility Exercises

    Experts have pointed out that every person needs physical activity in their daily life in order to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, stroke, and cancer, plus other health issues like depression, hypertension, inflammation, and weight control [6]. In fact, a lack of activity is a huge global problem. About 23% of adults and 81% of adolescent students don’t get enough exercise for optimum health worldwide [6]. 

    Even just doing some physical activity is better than doing none. Scientists have zeroed in on the link between consistent exercise and aging “well,” mental health, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and even a balanced diet [7]. 

    Here are a few ways you can get moving today: 

    1. Aerobic Exercises: Take your pup on a brisk walk in the sunshine. Go for an outdoor run around the neighborhood. Find a jump rope and start skipping and hopping. Go for a swim in the community pool or in the ocean. Find a form of cardio that fits your schedule and needs, the kind that really gets your heart pumping, and get out there!
    2. Anaerobic Exercises: Ever do short distance on the track team? If you have, that sprinting experience will come in handy. If you haven’t (or maybe the idea of running is not ideal for you - totally understandable), you can start by doing some short sprinting bursts outside or on the treadmill. You can also try grabbing some weights and working on your upper body strength. Pick an exercise that targets your muscles and go get ‘em, tiger.

    The best form of physical activity typically combines both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Choose what’s best for you and your body when you first start out. Consulting your doctor on what your body needs is always the best course of action, too. 

    Be gentle with yourself! You’ve got this.

    What do the experts say?

    The experts say - this is a trick question. Fitness and nutrition work together! They coexist, and for your benefit, too. It all comes down to your lifestyle choices. So, the answer to your question - you should be prioritizing both of these things in your day-to-day routine. 

    Experts recommend combining both a balanced diet and a regular exercise schedule to achieve long-term wellness goals. According to research, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a regular exercise routine can help delay health issues associated with aging, like diabetes or high blood pressure [5]. In fact, science shows that important bodily processes like muscle protein synthesis can’t happen without a combination of micronutrients and macronutrients, and maybe also lifting a few weights at the gym [8]. Our diets fuel our bodies so that we can do exercise. 

    Here are a few tips to help you start combining the two [3,5,4]:

  • Practice all four types of exercise regularly.  
  • Pick whole grains and lean sources of protein and dairy products.
  • Choose foods that are low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week.  
  • What else do you need to know?

    Your diet and daily exercise are partners when it comes to staying healthy but, did you also know that your diet might have nutritional gaps? When we eat too many foods high in some kinds of nutrients and then don’t eat other food combos that contain other nutrients our bodies crave, we can experience an imbalance in our diets [9]. A diet that lacks balance or food variance can potentially lead to deficiencies or other health issues [9]. That’s why a daily multivitamin can be super helpful. 

    Studies suggest that multivitamins may help in maintaining or even improving overall health, especially for individuals experiencing nutritional gaps in their diets or deficiencies [9].

    Go ahead and take a look at our Pattern Wellness Multivitamin. Our formula is not only made with 19 essential vitamins and minerals, but carefully designed with optimal levels of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin D, plus a potent vitamin B complex that works synergistically with iron, which we believe supports healthy energy levels, boosts metabolism, improves immune function, and even supports heart and brain health. What do you have to lose?

    Click here for more information. 



    1. Wikimedia Foundation. (2022, April 27). Diet (nutrition). Wikipedia. Retrieved from

    2. Diet. National Geographic Society. (n.d.). Retrieved from

    3. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Healthy diet. World Health Organization. Retrieved from

    4. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Physical activity. World Health Organization. Retrieved from

    5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Diet and exercise: Choices today for a healthier Tomorrow. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved from

    6. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Physical activity. World Health Organization. Retrieved from

    7. Roberts, C. K., Barnard, R. J., Hu, D., Croymans, D. M., Sakkas, G. K., Steele, R. M., Lightfoot, J. T., Hunnell, N. A., Geiger, P. C., Büttner, P., Frisbee, J. C., & Mortensen, O. H. (2005, January 1). Effects of exercise and diet on chronic disease. Journal of Applied Physiology. Retrieved from

    8. Atherton, P. J., & Smith, K. (2012, March 1). Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise. The Journal of physiology. Retrieved from

    9. Ward, E. (2014, July 15). Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and Mineral Supplements - Nutrition Journal. BioMed Central. Retrieved from

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