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Intuitive movement can make your exercise routine more manageable by reinforcing enjoyment in movement.

New year’s resolutions can inspire you to change your workout habits. When considering how you want to incorporate movement into your life, it’s important to establish a healthy relationship with exercise. Rather than focusing on unattainable goals or rigid routines that are hard to stick to consider practicing intuitive movement in the new year.

What is Inuitive Movement?

Intuitive movement is an exercise philosophy that encourages you to consider your body and how you feel about exercise when creating your exercise plan. Exercise fads come and go. They often focus on weight loss, which isn’t always a healthy motivation. When these fads have specific focuses and predetermined goals, they can limit your success because the goals are not universal. Intuitive movement is the opposite. When you’re practicing intuitive movement, you’re considering how your body feels in the moment and what feels like the right movement for your current state. This approach can also include no movement.

A traditional exercise routine may have rigid rules about what type of movements you practice during your exercise routine, and how often you exercise. However, if you are practicing intuitive movement, your body determines how you move. For example, if you are feeling stressed, you may want a more physically demanding exercise session to burn off additional energy. Alternatively, if you don’t want to work out, you can take a rest day. By listening to your body’s needs, you can reframe exercise as an enjoyable task that feeds your overall health and satisfaction, rather than a chore.

Intuitive Health

Intuitive movement is part of a larger understanding of health that promotes specific routine and listening to your own needs over strict rules. The larger ideology of Intuitive health is a holistic philosophy that highlights how your body works as a whole, and how focusing on your overall wellness can help with specific health issues. Intuitive eating is another example of this philosophy. Fad diets can have strict rules about what to eat. Additionally, they’re goal is to lose weight quickly, and can leave important nutrients out of your diet. Alternatively, intuitive eating focuses on interpreting your cravings to discover what your body needs.

Intuitive eating focuses on understanding when your body is hungry, when it’s thirsty, and what you’re hungry for based on how you feel. For example, if you’re feeling tired, you can eat fruit that has natural sugar to give you energy. If you’re really hungry, you may need some protein or carbs to feel full. Eating intuitively can prevent starving and binging, which are harmful dieting habits that negatively impact your health instead of helping you lose weight.

Benefits of Intuitive Movement

Here are some of the benefits of intuitive movement:

Allows rest days

Rest days can be essential to building muscle because your body needs time to recuperate and build. Some exercise routines recommend you work out every day. When you work out too much, you don’t build muscle, which burns calories, and you can injure yourself. Intuitive movement builds in rest days, because if you feel too tired to do your planned workout, listening to your body can prevent you from overworking your muscles.

Incorporates variety

Intuitive movement means trying new types of movement depending on what your feels good in the moment. Listening to your bodies specific needs creates opportunity for different types of movement. Some days you may want relaxing workouts like yoga or low impact workouts like long walks. Other days you may want to dance or participate in a HIIT class. Variety helps you build different muscles and creates muscle confusion which prevents your fitness progress from plateauing.

Creates specificity

Listening to your body helps create a specific workout plan that address your needs. Specific workout plans can be more impactful than a workout plan made for a general public. It takes into consideration your interests and capabilities. For example, if you have weak knees, you may not be able to perform squats safely and practicing intuitive movement can remove those exercises from your routine. It can also eliminate exercises that decrease your motivation and enjoyment of exercise, encouraging you to move more frequently and get more out of it.

How to Incorporate Intuitive Movement into Your Exercise Routine

Here are some steps you can take to start practicing intuitive movement:

Take stock of your body

Understanding how you feel and what your body is trying to tell you is essential to intuitive movement. It may take a while to effectively develop this skill. Practice thinking about how you feel before you work out. Think about what would feel good and what you are feeling drawn too. Consciously try to follow your instincts when it comes to movement. Consider if you are feeling any pain, if you are tired, if you are feeling like a specific muscle could use exercise, then focus your movement around addressing those feelings.

Avoid all or nothing thinking

Intuitive movement is a holistic ideology, so it focuses on your mental approach as much as your physical approach. Try to avoid holding yourself to rigid structures. Create space for you to rest without considering it a failure. Holding yourself to specific standards can limit your ability to follow the needs of your body.

Try different types of movement

Experiment with different types of movement to discover which kinds are most enjoyable. The more references you have to better you can understand what your body needs. Trying different kinds of movement can help keep you engaged with your exercises. To fully facilitate your different exercises, make sure you have the equipment you need on our list of must have products on Amazon.

Consider your motivation

When practicing intuitive movement, constantly evaluate your motivation to make sure you are listening to your body’s needs. For example, if you are feeling pressured to lose weight, you may be listening to outside influences instead of what your body needs. Check in with yourself and determine why you are choosing to move. Is it because you want to or because you feel you should. You always want to prioritize what your body wants over outside factors.

Priotize having fun

Try to prioritize movements that you enjoy. That way, you can associate movement with positive experiences instead of experiencing it a chore or a burden. If you can look forward to exercising, you are more likely to do it consistently. Moving regularly will have a more positive impact on your health than forcing movement you don’t enjoy, which can cause burnout.

At Living Well Balanced, we offer a wide range of fitness and physical health services from caring and experienced professionals. We provide personal training that focuses on holistic practices like intuitive movement to assist our clients in their health and wellness management. We also offer exercise classes like boxing and rock climbing to help you try different types of movement. You can make an appointment with one of our physicaltherapists to learn how they can benefit your treatment plan for injury recovery or prevention and chronic pain. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 212-579-2858 or send an email to info@livingwb.com. Check out our blog for more information about alternative therapies.