What is intuitive movement and why the heck is it so important? Well, let me break this down for you!
Moving your body regularly in a balanced way that genuinely feels good for you, can help manage those day to day stressors and your mental health in general, as well as prioritising putting yourself at the top of your to-do list each day amongst work and other responsibilities!
If you’re someone who has always used body-based goals to motivate you to exercise, you might find it hard to really connect with your internal motivation and listen to what your body actually needs day to day. For example: if you’re used to following a plan and going through the motions, resting when you’re told to, and doing the kind of workouts that you don’t particularly love but believe is “best” for your goals, how do you know what you actually like doing?
Much like intuitive eating, intuitive movement focuses on respecting how your body FEELS, taking into account your schedule and energy levels for the week, prioritising movement that is ENJOYABLE, to help with that intrinsic motivation, and of course choosing exercise that aligns with your goals and core values too!
Doesn’t that sound much more fun than following a bland, generic program that you low-key dread and do begrudgingly?!?
Many people think if it’s not a gym-based workout, it’s not the most “effective”, so they push themselves through workouts they don’t particularly vibe with, which can often lead to resentment and burnout. At the end of the day, regardless of your goal, moving your body consistently in a way that feels good is always going to be better than a “perfect” program that you hate and get sick of after a few weeks.
Some additional benefits that come with regular movement, of any kind:
- Relieves stress
- Feel-good endorphins can boost your mood
- Can aid in longer/better quality sleep
- Improves mobility + flexibility
- Helps you schedule you-time away from work + responsibilities
- Can ease symptoms of depression and/or anxiety
- Provides performance based goals such as increased strength/endurance
- Helps you become more in tune with your body
By moving your body in a way that feels best for you, instead of doing what you think you “should” do, you might find that you’re more motivated and excited to get up and about. Instead of exercise feeling like a chore to tick off the list!
I encourage you to check in with your intentions as you train this week.
Does this actually feel right for me today?
Am I going to feel better for pushing through and getting a big heavy session in, or is my body tired and in need of a stretching and mobility session instead?
Would I be better off going for a long walk to help with stress management?
Do I need to be around people in a class for social vibes, or try something new to spice up my routine as things are feeling stale?
There are so many ways to move your body. No one way is the “best”, and sometimes, what’s been effective for you in the past just gets straight up boring over time.
Some key tips:
- Something as simple as moving for 2-3 minutes per 30 minutes you spend sitting (that would be around 45 minutes of any kind of intentional or incidental exercise for those who sit at a desk all day) can do wonders!
- It’s okay to take a break, change it up, rest more, or explore totally new ways to move!
- Give yourself permission to pivot and move away from what you think you “should” do
- Things like outdoor hikes, dance classes or ocean swims absolutely count, and can feel amazing!
- Listen to what your own body needs (which might mean moving more, or less, depending on your schedule + energy levels)
- Focus on exercising for enjoyment and endorphins and alllll the great non-aesthetic benefits that come with regular movement!
If you’re struggling to stay consistent with your movement, or would like a little more guidance or accountability to look after your body in a way that feels good, my premium health + fitness coaching might be for you! Feel free to enquire via the “Premium Coaching” tab or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!