Feel the difference when you find JOY in your movement!
The focus on Intuitive Eating is mostly on food and eating, but having a healthy relationship with exercise is important too and can impact our nutritional needs!
Regular movement has a ton of health benefits, including:
- Improving and maintaining cognitive abilities and memory
- Increases energy levels throughout the day
- Maintaining bone density and muscle mass
- Reducing stress and boosting mood
- Preventing chronic disease
Exercise can sometimes be abused though, especially in the pursuit of losing weight. Here are some signs of over-exercising:
- Working out when sick or fatigued
- Feeling anxious or stressed when you skip a workout
- Skipping social events and time with loved ones to exercise
- Feeling like you need to have a vigorous workout for it to “count”
- Exercising to lose weight and/or burn calories
Having a healthy relationship with exercise can prevent burn-out and help us engage in movement that is both joyful and sustainable for the long run. Studies have actually shown that individuals who workout to lose weight are more likely to hit the snooze button than those who workout for pleasure.
So how you can you start moving intuitively?
- Listen to how your body signals movement. Do you notice that after sitting a while you get the urge to stand up and stretch? Maybe you feel a little restless and feel like you have pent up energy. Maybe other days your body is sore or fatigued and you need some rest.
- Be present in your workouts. Pay attention to how your body feels to prevent injury or pain. A good workout may have moments of discomfort, but pain is a sign we need to stop what were doing.
- Move in a way you LOVE! Exercise should be fun! Studies support that those who exercise for weight loss are more likely to hit snooze in the morning than those who workout for enjoyment.
- Vary your movement! Variety can keep things interesting and also helps prevent injury by not overusing the same muscles.
- Find ways to move throughout the day. Exercise doesn’t have to be black and white. You can incorporate more gentle movement rather than always do a vigorous workout. For example, if you don’t feel like doing a long workout at the gym you can go on a walk or do some gentle stretching. Even just standing up from a desk at work can provide health benefits.
We may not feel joyful during every part of our work out or form of movement. Most people don’t smile while they are in plank position, but overall exercise should bring energy and fun into our lives! How can you add more joy to your movement today?
By Zoe Halbert – Zoe is a registered dietitian, licensed in Austin Texas who is passionate about helping people create healthy relationships with food and body. She focuses on intuitive eating with a non-diet and practices from the health at every size (HAES) approach when working with clients.