To date, only two factors have been shown to impact the quality of your stem cells. They are diet and exercise. Jack Lalanne, often credited as the first fitness guru of America. He used to say "Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together, and you've got a kingdom."
Based on modern scientific data, however, we can now say nutrition comes first, and exercise is a close second. No amount of exercise can undo poor nutrition. Putting semantics aside, let's be clear: both are needed to lead a healthy life. That said, a lot of people who are physically very active may not be very fit. Ultimately, a poor diet catches up. This can result in people being unable to do the activities they love.
What constitutes a healthy diet? Popular diet names include Plant based, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, South Beach, etc. The proponents of each of these diets claim theirs is the perfect solution. We wish the answer was that easy. If it was, we would be a very healthy nation. About half the adults in US are obese, and one in four kids has obesity.
Even worse, in the last two decades, these numbers have almost doubled. Clearly, we are not headed in the right direction. While there are certain helpful clues in most diets listed, food is also a very individual choice just like most things in life are. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is “balance” and listening to the needs of your body.
For diet and exercise, a few general rules are:
- Eat fresh vegetables and fruits daily
- Limit intake of meat and dairy products
- Avoid overly cooked or oily food
- At every age, weight training is a must
- Some daily cardio is good, walking or running best
- Volume of exercise is important
While some exercise is better than none, current recommendation of 150 minutes a week is too little. Research indicates up to 700 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week maybe needed in order to experience significant health benefits.
As always, before you make any changes or start a new routine, check with your physician. How healthy your stem cells are impacts directly the quality and length of your life. Develop good eating habits along with a robust exercise schedule and you design a better life for yourself.