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Beck Trek Day 9, Exercise Plan is Off and Running

Sunday, September 06, 2015

This is another Beck skill that I feel I already have firmly under my belt! I have a very regular schedule of running and Pilates that includes about 20-25 miles per week. I spend at least 30 minutes every day (except Sunday) doing planned exercise. And because of Dr. Beck, I have included a laundry list of spontaneous exercise to my daily life from parking WAY out in the parking lot, to dance parties with my kids.

I am really glad that Dr. Beck lists the many reasons that exercise is important to weight loss, including:
• it helps you stick to your diet;
• it helps control your appetite;
• it boosts mood and soothes stress;
• it builds confidence;
• it preserves muscle;
• it makes you feel better physically;
• it improves your overall health
• AND it burns extra calories.

I put the extra calorie burn last because in my experience, that is the smallest of the benefits!

I am very enthusiastic about exercise, right? Sounds so fun, right? Well, it comes out of something very serious. My reason for running comes out of a primal need to release adrenaline. I have a very sensitive fight or flight instinct – meaning I have anxiety. And I have battled depression most of my life. My weight was a physical manifestation of the emotional weight I was carrying. I finally decided that when I came upon an upsetting situation and found my heart and mind racing, I needed to run. I needed to get rid of the adrenaline coursing through my body. Likewise, if I felt hopeless to the extent that I found it difficult to want to get out of bed, I knew I had to drag myself out into the sunshine and drag myself out of my dark mood.

Exercise has had an amazing affect on my life that is far more important than weight loss.

You DON’T have to run to experience this. Running is what works for me, but anything will do. My husband is a cancer doctor. He walks almost every night because recent research suggests that even a few minutes of walking each day can have significant health benefits. He has ankylosing spondylitis. His back and hip pain is so bad now that running isn’t an option for him. So, we walk together. I have the utmost respect for him for dealing with his limitations just like I deal with mine.

The list of exercise benefits is long and important and the least important of all is calorie burn. Feel better about yourself. Feel better in your skin. Feel better in your brain. Just feel better!
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