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Intuitive Exercise: You'll Love It!

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
November 10, 2023
December 19, 2023

In recent years, the concept of mindful eating has gained popularity as a way to improve our relationship with food and better understand our body's needs. But have you heard about intuitive exercise? It shares the same principles and can have a similar positive impact on our overall health and mental wellbeing. Trust me, you’ll love it!

What Is Intuitive Exercise and Why You’ll Love It:

Intuitive exercise encourages us to tune into our body's needs and move in a way that feels good and right for us in the moment. Although the CDC recommends aiming for 150 minutes of exercise per week, intuitive exercise acknowledges that everyone's bodies and schedules are different. Intuitive exercise encourages us to choose the days, frequency, and type of exercise that works best for us.

This means:

  • Don’t feel obligated to follow a rigid workout plan.
  • Take pride in creating an exercise routine that is uniquely suited to your lifestyle.
  • Understand that short workouts throughout the day can be just as effective as longer sessions on the weekends.
Embrace intuitive exercise: Not feeling your best? No problem! Skip the planned intense workouts; go for a walk or join a dance class.
  • Feeling like a total fitness superstar? Don’t hold back!  Go ahead and challenge yourself with an intense workout !

By giving ourselves the flexibility to choose, we're more likely to maintain a consistent exercise routine that supports our overall health and mental wellbeing.

Tips to Get Started

Here are some tips to get started with intuitive exercise:

  1. Shake up your routine: Say goodbye to boring workouts and hello to intuitive exercise! Instead of forcing yourself to stick to a strict routine, allow yourself to explore new forms of exercise. Try out a Pilates class, go rock climbing, play ping pong, or take up swimming! Find your favorite hobbies - the possibilities are endless!
  2. Listen to your body: Your body knows best! Take a moment to check in with yourself before starting any exercise. Ask yourself what feels good today? What does your body need today? Whether it's a restorative yoga class or a High-intensity interval training, choose what feels right for you.
  3. Get social: You don’t have to always exercise alone. Invite a friend to join you for a walk in the park or sign up for a group fitness class. Your exercise partner can hold you accountable and give you that extra boost of motivation.
  4. Be kind to yourself: Intuitive exercise is all about being gentle with yourself, so don't push yourself too hard or feel guilty if you miss a workout. Trust your body and honor what it needs, and you'll be on your way to a healthier, happier you!

Takeaways

Whether you're looking to lose weight, build strength, or simply feel better in your body, intuitive exercise is a great way to support your health and mental wellness. Remember, the key to intuitive exercise is tuning in to your body's needs and desires and choosing activities that feel good and right for you in the moment. Don't be afraid to try something new and have fun with it!

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