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Practice Intuitive Movement and Enjoy Exercise for Life

Guest Blog by Carole Dowling – The Enjoy Movement

Exercise has long been associated with diet culture and used as a weight management tool enabling us burn calories to achieve the ‘perfect body’. The best exercise has historically been the one that burns the most calories and helps us to achieve these aesthetic goals. It is no surprise, therefore, that so many of us have a complicated relationship with exercise. Thank goodness there is now a movement encouraging a different way of thinking. The intuitive movement approach, focusing on intrinsic reasons to exercise, is now gaining wider acceptance. With the intuitive approach we move our bodies to feel good, rather than to punish ourselves for eating. If you want to enjoy exercise and lead an active life, then adopting an intuitive approach will help you achieve this. It will help you connect with how exercise makes you feel. It will help you connect with the positive impact it can have across all areas of our life. It will help exercise become a sustainable part of your life.

How to Practice Intuitive Exercise

Intuitive movement is about exercising in a way that nourishes and feeds your body and mind. It means rejecting a rigid approach that means you have to do certain things, at a certain intensity, on certain days. The aim is to avoid the all or nothing approach. We create unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Life and lack of motivation get in the way and we can’t stick to our ‘schedule’. We feel guilty and decide we have failed. Herein lies the cycle which reinforces negative relationships with exercise.

So, what should we be doing instead if we want to practice intuitive exercise? - Focus on what our body needs, on any given day. - Focus on exercise that leaves us feeling nourished and energised not broken or exhausted. - Focus on knowing when our body needs to rest and when we want to move. Some great questions to ask yourself are: What does my body need today? What do I feel like doing today? What would be the most beneficial thing I could do for my body today?

This approach is about being kinder to yourself and putting yourself under less pressure.