Feel like your workout regime is getting the better of you? Or, maybe you feel guilty for not going all week. Well, stop.
It’s about time we stopped listening to other people and started listening to ourselves. For starters, what do you feel like doing today? That’s what intuitive movement is all about.
Most of us have stopped with the miserable diets now that we know being healthy doesn’t always mean being skinny, or having a six pack. So, it’s about time we let loose the same mantra when it comes to exercise.
What does being intuitive mean?
When you look it up in a dictionary, you might find the following:
Based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.
When it comes to food, this means the ultimate anti-diet. It’s about recognising your body’s biological needs in terms of what and when to eat. That’s it — no rules, just your own intuition. And because sometimes, you really do just need a doughnut.
What is intuitive movement?
Now, let’s apply this idea to exercise. Rather than feeling that you have to exercise, or even that you have to exercise in a certain way, how about listening to what your body needs that day? Intuitive movement isn’t about letting a training regimen rule your life and instead focusing on what kind of workout you feel you can tackle, if any.
Hate exercising? Running to burn calories? These are key signs that you should re-set your brain in favour of intuitive movement. Instead of letting your workout be dominated by diet culture and a need to exercise to look a certain way, how about working out for self-care, socialising, or psychological benefits? Perhaps it’s time to stop punishing ourselves with workouts and start truly enjoying them.
How do you practise intuitive movement?
The most important thing to start with is not letting society decide your goals. Instead, let them focus around enjoyment, health, or challenging yourself, rather than for achieving society’s “perfect” aesthetics.
Next, remember that no type of movement is “better” or “worse” than another — they all benefit us in different ways and lead to different goals, so keep it neutral. That means you shouldn’t do a spin class over yoga just because it burns more calories, but because you enjoy it, or feel like an endurance challenge today.
Finally, it’s okay not to train. If you didn’t sleep well, or feel too achy, then take a day off. Don’t beat yourself up about it — if you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to give it your all tomorrow. Detoxify your relationship with exercise by using it to create positivity in your life, rather than add to the negatives.
Will no regime mean not meeting goals?
Not only will you still be able to reach your goals, intuitive movement could completely change what those goals are. You’re working out for a whole host of new benefits, rather than just trying to “look good”. Don’t confuse laziness for kindness either – giving up movement entirely isn’t giving your body what it needs to be healthy and happy in the long run. So, if you find yourself with no particular reason why you’re putting off movement, then you should maybe push yourself to go. You can also still challenge yourself to lifting heavier, or run a marathon. The consistency this needs just means something different now — you’re consistently investing in your happiness and health as a priority and everything else is simply a bonus.
Take home message
For many of us, intuitive movement means completely re-wiring our relationship with fitness, so don’t be put off if you don’t get it first time. The most important thing is to listen to your body and find ways to move that you really enjoy — that way you’ll stick at it and truly reap the mind and body benefits.