Exercise does not erase unhealthy dietary choices.
Exercise is not a diet eraser! I often hear those who frequent the gym lamenting that they are working hard to undo some unhealthful choices from the weekend, or prepare for some upcoming unhealthful choices. These comments make funny jokes, but they are representative of a misunderstanding of the aggregate impact of our daily lifestyle choices and behaviors on our overall health.
It is important to remember that an increase in the amount of adipose tissue is not the only impact from making unhealthful dietary choices. Eating unhealthful things, sacrificing sleep, ignoring exercise, and participating in other dangerous activities may impact your overall health in many ways, and the choices that we make today carry weight throughout the rest of our days. Unfortunately, thirty extra minutes on the treadmill will not erase our choices from the night before. You cannot “balance out” unhealthful lifestyle choices by going to the gym. If you want to stay healthy you will need to take care of yourself on a regular basis, inside and outside of the gym.