Exercise can mean many things for different people. For some, it means meeting with your personal trainer every week. For others, it means participating in a group fitness class on your lunch hour. Whatever the form of exercise, we know that the key to long-lasting health and a great physique is commitment.
Yet most of us approach our fitness as a chore we need to check off the list every day. Instead I think we need to rely on our intuition to guide our exercise routine. Intuitive exercise simply means moving in a way that makes you feel good in your own skin. Basically, allow yourself to think about exercise as a commitment to movement: “What does my body need today, what does my body crave today, within today’s crazy schedule — what type of exercise would be most beneficial to my body?”
In today's fitness-obsessed world, it is easy to adopt the fear-based mindset — that you have to work out or you’ll gain weight. But, we have the power to shift our perception to: “I will honor my body today by moving in a way that feels good!" Giving yourself a choice empowers you to become more consistent in your routine. Here are some tips to get you on YOUR own intuitive path to fitness:
1. Tune into your body every day.
Take a deep breath and listen to how your body is feeling every morning. Doing a body scan can really help you identify what your body needs are for that day. Perhaps you are feeling really tight. Maybe you’re feeling the stress from your week building up in your body. Tune into your emotional state as well and analyze what is going on.
2. Be satisfied with whatever type of movement the day brings.
Whatever workout you choose today, embrace it. Do not let your ego talk you out of what you know you intuitively need. So, if you are feeling really strong, lift weights instead of doing cardio. If the only way you can fit in exercise is a few 10-minute walks throughout the day, that’s okay too.
3. Figure out your why.
It is normal to feel less then motivated when it comes to working out. We tend to bully ourselves into going to the gym. We try to scare ourselves with consequences. “If I want to eat those cookies, I better get my but on the treadmill” or “If I don’t run five miles today, I won’t fit into my bridesmaid dress!” This type of thinking is only going to push your mind and your body to rebel. We need to always remember that, exercise is a form of self-love. Write this on your fridge! You are working out because you deserve a healthy and vibrant life.
4. Move with joy.
This may seem like a shocking concept, but whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you actually enjoy it! Exercise should never feel like torture. You should always feel good, energized and accomplished. Remember the more you experience joy while exercising, the more you will be willing to do it — and the more you do it, the healthier and more amazing you will look and feel.
5. Find satisfaction in every type of movement.
Know that whatever you did today was perfect and it is enough. Some days we kill our workouts, and some days our workouts kill us! No matter the outcome or the intensity, being consistent and committing to taking care of your body is all you can ask of yourself. There is no greater commitment than the one we make to ourselves. After every workout, you can feel awesome and proud of yourself for choosing to honor your body.