Enjoyable Exercise? (It’s a thing, I promise)
What does exercise mean to you? When you think about exercising, do you picture a joyful activity that you look forward to and that leaves your body feeling good afterwards?
Or does your experience of exercise look a bit different... Are there thoughts about weight loss, dieting, and words like “no pain, no gain” floating around your head along with memories of sweat, tears, and other unpleasant experiences?
Many of us have the experience of starting new exercise regimes, only to find that we can’t keep up with it, and the rest of life, at the same time. We get tired, we run out of time, we get injured, we get to the point where it feels like torture and we are unable to continue. Most of us then blame ourselves, “not enough willpower”, “my motivation disappeared”, “I couldn’t make myself do it anymore” What if it was the way we’re told we should be exercising that is the problem, not you? (Also, a little known secret on the side: Research does not show that exercise is successful as a long term weight loss or maintenance strategy anyway). Did you know that it’s possible for moving your body to be something enjoyable, that you miss when you don’t get to do it, and something that leaves your body feeling good? Being physically active is so much more than just “no pain, no gain”, and gently moving away from this restrictive definition that is reinforced by crazy, diet and weight obsessed society allows us to have a more peaceful relationship with physical movement, that is truly focused on health, wellbeing, and feeling your best.
If you are struggling with your relationship with exercise and are ready to make a change, it may be the right time for you to seek the assistance of a qualified HAES, Non-Diet Approach dietitian or health practitioner to help guide you through the process back to a place of peace with moving your body in a joyful and sustainable way.