Centr trainer Maricris Lapaix, wearing gym wear, sits on a limestone step, holding half a salad sand
Centr x Lifespan.io

Diet vs exercise: and the winner is...

Centr x Lifespan.io

Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io, a nonprofit leader in longevity science journalism and advocacy, to bring you the latest research on aging and rejuvenation. Learn more about our partnership below.

An indulgent lunch. An unhealthy dinner. Breakfast at the drive thru. No big deal, because you can work it all off in the gym, right?

A study has shed new light on the diet vs exercise debate – and it’s bad news for anyone who hopes to out-train a bad diet.

While exercise and a healthy diet have their own rewards, when it comes to longevity, you probably need both.

You can’t outrun a bad diet

A team of scientists analyzed the lifestyles of more than 300,000 people to investigate whether vigorous exercise can replace a healthy diet.

What did they find? More exercise meant a lower risk of mortality. And those with the highest quality diets had a 14 percent lower risk of dying from certain cancers.

But there was no evidence that intense workouts can ‘offset’ a bad diet. And eating well didn’t make up for a lack of physical activity, either.

A montage of four meals from the 10 weeknight favourites recipe collection

Try 10 of our weeknight favorites for an easy diet upgrade.

Is diet or exercise more important?

The verdict is clear: the moves you make and the food you eat each have their own benefits for your health. And while those benefits do overlap, they can’t replace each other.

A different study found that women live 5.6 years longer and men 6.2 years longer on average if they exercise between 1 and 2.5 hours per week. So while you’re not actually ‘making up for’ or ‘working off’ any questionable food choices, you are doing yourself good.

As for what you eat, if you want to slow down the aging process, the evidence points to a diet high in whole foods like veggies, fruit and legumes, and low in processed foods and sugar. Research also suggests that a Mediterranean diet could significantly cut dementia risk as you age.

The real upshot? Exercise and diet work best as a team – coming together to help you live healthier for longer. And we happen to know another team who can help with that…

Disclaimer: This Centr content is adapted with permission from an article written by Lifespan.io. The content herein represents Centr’s interpretation of the original source material.

Read more on the science of aging well:

Centr x Lifespan.io

Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io to bring you the latest in longevity research. Lifespan.io is the leading source of industry news and a nonprofit advocacy foundation whose mission is to accelerate progress toward overcoming age-related diseases. Since 2014, the organization has focused on responsible journalism, high-impact advocacy, and media initiatives that make longevity research and education more accessible to all.

Centr x Lifespan.io

Sign up to unlock your full potential

All your tools in one place

Expert-training to fuel your fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.

Limitless ways to fuel your mind & body

Access to over 3,000 workouts, recipes, and meditations – all tailored to your goals.

Tech that keeps you moving

Download Centr on all your devices to level up and track your results live.