Intuitive Movement is a similar idea to Intuitive Eating. It involves bringing more awareness to your body and listening to its internal cues regarding exercise. You can start by directing your attention to how your body feels during and after different types of exercise. Take note of the physical sensations as well as emotions. If you find that you dread going back to spin class but really loved how flexible you felt at yoga, that’s a great indicator of preference. Intuitive Movement is extremely useful in helping those who have had a negative or even non-existent relationship with exercise in the past. It helps to reframe the often-held view of exercise as “punishment” or a way to “earn” your food. When exercise is viewed in this negative light, it becomes much more difficult to keep up with in the long-term. It’s hard to stay motivated to do activities that we don’t like! By working towards an intuitive relationship with movement, you can learn to see exercise as an activity that you do to feel better and that you enjoy for other benefits besides weight and appearance. This, then, will help you to incorporate exercise in a more sustainable and balanced way.
Intuitive Movement can definitely feel very “un-intuitive” initially. It can be difficult to determine what works best for you and your body if you have always pushed through injury, overworked yourself, or forced yourself to do types of fitness you don’t enjoy. But, the best way to learn is through trial and error. Sometimes you might “over-do” it or you might try an activity you absolutely hate. The key is to reflect on what you can do differently going forward. Get yourself an accountability partner to check in with and share how things are going for you. The only downside to Intuitive Movement is that it takes time and practice and can feel scary initially. But the lasting effects are absolutely worth it!