The Checkup: Which Should Come First, Diet or Exercise?

Both, according to a new study.

• In the age-old chicken-and-egg question of health and fitness, which should come first: diet or exercise? That’s what a new study set to find out and—fortunately or not, depending on how you look at it—researchers came back with this answer: both.

If you must choose one or the other, they said, go for exercise. Why? Because “changing diet first may interfere with attempts to establish a regular exercise routine” later, according to HealthDay. The researchers, who are at Stanford med school, figured this out by employing four different study groups—people who implemented diet and exercise changes at the same time; those who dieted first and exercised later; those who exercised first and dieted later; and those who made no changes whatsoever—and tracking their outcomes. Those who made both changes at the same time, obviously, were the most successful, hitting both the U.S. guidelines for exercise and nutrition and eating higher-quality calories by the study’s end. Those who exercised first and dieted later saw the second-best results. But those who dieted first were never quite able to hit the exercise goals. The reason, according to study author Abby King, could be pegged to the fact that diet habits are easier to make over than fitness ones. After all, we have to eat anyway, so swapping one food for another isn’t really that difficult. But finding time to exercise can be a real challenge. Your takeaway? Start with mastering the more difficult task when you’re the most motivated to do so; the easier one will, well, more easily fall in line later.

• New security measures are in store for those attending or participating in the Penn Relays this weekend, according to the Philly Post. The new bag searches and other procedures come in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. Read more about what to expect here. (Relatedly, Runner’s World has a piece about how the bombings might change all races in the future. Read that here.)

• What do you think about this? A tech startup is asking employees to track and share data about their eating, sleeping and fitness habits as a way to measure whether the happier, more productive employees are also the healthier ones. Mashable has more.

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