Am I living to exercise or exercising to live?

This is L.A. They invented exercise here. There is a fitness club on every block and enough exercise equipment to fill the Pentagon. It's the land of perfectly tanned bodies, muscle beach, and long blonde hair.

So, in an effort to distance myself from the superficiality of the culture, I refused to engage in any exercise whatsoever. I proudly justified myself "I don't have time", " I'm too busy doing really important things", "What a waste of energy." I had a long list of excuses and felt very self-righteous.

But the Torah mandates that we take care of our bodies, so I couldn't hold out forever. On my 39th birthday my husband bought me a treadmill. My mother asked if that was a hint (!) but it was actually a response to my request. And it has changed my life.

I feel like a reformed smoker, preaching to everyone I see. It helps alleviate stress and it helps increase your metabolism (a euphemism for losing weight).

I listen to books on tape so I hear many classics and I'm motivated to get back on to find out what happens next.

It's also a good excuse to listen to old rock tapes but maybe I shouldn't admit that in public.

I can't say that I wake up like a lion and jump onto the treadmill. I usually have to force myself to get on, but I feel so much better when I do.

If you're not exercising you don't want to be around me, because I've become obnoxious about it, but if you are you know what I'm talking about.

Exercise doesn't come in a small yellow pill, but its benefits are a pretty good advertisement.

My husband is hooked too. He quit his fitness club – all the men preening in front of the mirror was a bit much –- and walks the treadmill road.

In easing tension, exercise clears your mind. I can think better, parent better, teach better and be a better wife. Exercise doesn't come in a small yellow pill, but its benefits are a pretty good advertisement. Too bad it took me so long to find it.

I look forward to it everyday and am only sorry that my time on it is so short. But then a treadmill of a different kind awaits me.