AARP Home » AARP Blog » AARP »Personal Health »To Lose Weight and Get Fit in 2012, Should You Begin with Eating or Exercise?
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ExerciseA common question for individuals starting out on their quest for fitness is whether to focus on eating or exercise. Would it be better to establish healthier eating habits and then add the habit of exercise? Or begin with exercise and work on nutrition later?

Harvard University researcher Miquel Alonso studies the relationship between the two. His study suggests that exercise is the place to begin since “physical exercise seems to encourage a healthy diet.” He reports that exercise changes how the brain works, and these changes allow us to make better decisions about what and how much to eat.

Exercise makes us more aware when we are full and strengthens the mental muscles used in decision making, particularly decisions that regulate the kind and amount of food we eat.

With this research in mind, if you are debating where to begin, you may want to make daily exercise your first priority.

Photo credit: lululemon athletica on Flickr