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exercise_2190595bIt is common knowledge that exercise is an integral component of health and wellness.  Exercise helps you burn calories and is a keystone habit – a habit that leads to the development of multiple good habits.  You probably have heard that if you exercise then you should also lose weight.  This is true to some degree, but it is not always the case.  Let us take a look at where and how exercise can actually help in the weight-loss process.

We face stress every day, and most of the times when we are struck with stress, we seek food for support and comfort (aka emotional eating).  As a matter of fact, in a recent study by the American Psychological Association, 38% of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress.  49% of these adults report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.  33% of adults who report overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress say they do so because it helps distract them from stress.  And let us be honest: we are not reaching for grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli – we are usually reaching for sweet or salty snacks (for that carbs fix), which usually leads to a slippery slope of binge and emotional eating.  

So, as you move forward in the weight-loss process, the next time you are hit with stress, think about including exercise into your day.  This does not necessarily mean an intense CrossFit type workout.  A brisk 30-minute walk can help give you that emotional lift and a healthy serving of stress release.  Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that will leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. 

Feeling a little tired, sluggish, or, do I dare say, unmotivated?  Exercise can help boost your energy and be a life-saver during the weight-loss process.  Have you noticed that a change in your diet can sometimes leave you feeling a bit tired?  This would be the ideal time to get in your steps and go for a brisk 30-60 minute walk.  Working on a deadline or just cannot leave your desk or office?  No problem.  Do a five-minute circuit of jumping jacks and squats, and you will boost your blood circulation and heart rate up and feel reenergized.  Simple little hacks go a long way.  Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.  Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.  When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to keep going on your day with more upbeat spunk.  So remember: exercise can help you on your weight-loss journey, and start this keystone habit now to reap in all the positive chain effects.

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