Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Exercise or Eat a Big Mac?

On February 12th, the BBC posted a new article about how exercise reduces colon cancer and a video about how during the recession, more people are eating at McDonald's and other fast food joints, which will, when done in excess, lead to obesity and many nutrition-based diseases, cancers included. This certainly makes an interesting juxtaposition. In the first article, Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, explained that "around half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle." And that "maintaining a healthy bodyweight is one of the best ways to lower the risk of bowel and other cancers - potentially helping to avoid an estimated 13,000 cases each year." In other words, skip the MickieD's.

There are many paths I could take with this blog, but let's jump straight to the most important one: in this moment of economic uncertainty you can eat very healthy on little money if you're willing to prepare the food yourself. Yes, it takes more time, but then again, perhaps we'll start having more of that as unemployment leads people to scale back their spending and live with smaller incomes. Learning to cook would be a good way to eat healthier while saving money (and would even give you a bit more exercise than waiting at the drive thru). Dried beans, rice, fresh veggies and spices can be made into an exquisite meal for little 'dough.' And you'll be much better off than eating $1 burgers.

Combine that with exercise--as simple as walking to the grocery store or doing a little gardening (saving a bit of money on food that way too)--and you'll be a lot healthier. Spring is coming, which makes this a perfect moment to find a plot you can start cultivating. Or if you live in an apartment, why not try setting up a little balcony (or indoor) garden. You can tend that year round. Watch the below video to see one guy quite inspired by his balcony garden. Feel free to use less exotic plants than he does! Even some basil, tomato plants and a few other herbs would be a good start.

No comments: