The ninth principle of intuitive eating is ‘exercise – feel the difference’. I prefer to call this principle intuitive movement, rediscovering the joy in movement by listening to your internal cues. Basically, your body knows best and once you start listening to it movement becomes a whole lot more enjoyable. So here are my top tips for becoming an intuitive mover…
Tip 1: Uncouple Movement & Calories
Shifting your mindset from exercising for weight loss/management to moving for joy is the first step to moving intuitively. Movement is so much than calories burnt, it is about the physical and mental benefits, the social connection and the enjoyment factor. Stop treating exercise as a punishment – I promise you’ll feel better for it.
Tip 2: Choose Movement You Enjoy
We know movement is beneficial for us, it reduces stress and risk of disease and improves mental wellbeing, sleep quality and bone density. But we are never going to make movement part of our life if we pick activities we hate! So choose something you enjoy, walking, hiking, dancing, spinning, HIIT training, strength training and yoga are all valid forms of movement.
Tip 3: Discover Your Why
Discovering ‘why’ you move and listening reasons to move which aren’t weight focused can be a really valuable activity. Finding your ‘why’ for movement may take time but that’s okay, it’ll be worth it!
Tip 4: Remember Rest
Rest is equally as important as moving your body. Finding the balance and rejecting the all-or-nothing mentality found in dieters is a key step to respecting your body. Sometimes taking care of yourself is not moving and resting instead. Your body needs to adjust and adapt to the stress from movement – this is how we get stronger, faster and more mobile.
Tip 5: Reject Rigidity
Although having performance based goals can be a great way to keep movement interesting, allowing yourself flexibility in your routine is vital when respecting your body. This means not beating yourself up if you’re is not up for the movement you planned that day, instead practice kindness and listen to your body.