Intuitive Eating Principle 9: Movement- Feel the Difference
Intuitive Eating is all about reconnecting to our bodies’ own wisdom when it comes to nutrition. But as we get used to listening to our internal cues, we may find that our body can tell us what it needs in other areas of living, such as movement.
Our bodies, with their complex design of bones, muscles, and tendons, are designed to move. With many of us in sedentary jobs and lifestyles, it’s already difficult enough to get enough movement in our day to day life. On top of that, diet culture permeates the exercise community, promising us that workouts will “blast fat” or “melt the muffin top”. Moving our bodies is viewed as a punishment needed to burn calories, or to compensate for eating too much.
What if instead, we focused on finding movement that feels good to our individual bodies? We are all going to have different natural limitations, access to equipment, or likes and dislikes. For one person, walking and yoga might feel amazing. Another person might prefer running and weight training. There is no one “right” way to move our bodies. The correct way to exercise is to do what feels best to you!
In the meantime, we can also focus on trying to get more movement in our day to day lives. Hunching over our computers all day and then slumping in front of the TV at night can leave us feeling stiff and lethargic. Here are a few ideas to incorporate a little more activity into your day!
Implement stretch breaks a few times a day at natural points- such as before you sit at your desk, at the end of the work day, or before bed.
Add in extra walking where you can. Park further away in the parking lot, add in an after dinner stroll, or make extra trips carrying in the groceries from the car.
Add in activity to your leisure time. Examples include getting on the floor to play with your kids or pets, heading outdoors for a hike, snowshoeing, skiing, or kayaking (weather permitting of course).
Most important is remembering that exercise is not a punishment or a consequence for eating. The ability to move is a gift, we don’t have to move our bodies, we get to move our bodies! Give yourself the gift of movement and notice how your body thanks you.
Are you interested in learning more about how the Intuitive Eating approach can help you reach your health goals? Reach out to us and set up a consultation with one of our Registered Dietitians today, or click this link to sign up for our 6-week online Intuitive Eating Program!
Author: Becca Sprague, MS, RD, LD