Updated: Feb 25, 2020
What if I told you that you never have to exercise again?
Would you believe me? Tell me I’m crazy? Think I’m sentencing you to a life of inactivity?
I’ll let you make that call after you read this blog post, but the short of it is this:
👉Exercise - aka MOVEMENT - doesn’t need to be rigid, controlled, forced, or unenjoyable.
And unfortunately, that’s the association many people make with moving their bodies.
So I’m nixing the concept of exercise and instead bringing in the idea of joyful movement: A celebration of the ways your body can move, doing what feels good, and listening to your body’s cues on when and how much to move.
Here’s the deal - The diet industry has you believing that exercise is the ticket to a life of bliss and sex appeal.
If you work out enough, you’ll get six-pack abs.
If you work out enough, you’ll prevent cancer.
If you work out enough, you’ll never gain weight.
Guess what? NOT TRUE NOT TRUE NOT TRUE.
Not only are a majority of the claims that fitness “experts” make not backed by science, but these claims are also perpetuating a cycle of shame and guilt.
Exercise has become an obligation. Something we feel we “should” do in order to be healthy and to feel accomplished.
But this is the product of advertisements, mass media, fitness “gurus” and systems who have profit on the brain and fear in their hearts.
Over the years, exercise has become a source of revenue - not a source of healing.
In fact, so much so that most eating disorder treatment facilities REQUIRE their patients to refrain from exercise because it places emphasis on:
And it’s all-around triggering for many (ED diagnosis or not)
Let’s talk about joyful movement.
An alternative way to find health through movement is by moving in ways that nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
Keywords: moving your BODY in ways that ALSO NOURISH YOUR MIND & SPIRIT.
Joyful movement is not just about moving your body for the sake of physical health. It’s about moving your body in ways that FEEL GOOD, MAKE YOU HAPPY, AND LIGHT YOUR SOUL ON FIRE.
That’s the difference between lifting weights in the gym under fluorescent lights and foul smells because you feel you “have to” and:
Practicing yoga in a candlelit room with people who genuinely care about you
Taking a pole dancing class and tapping into your sexy side
Going for a gentle walk in the woods to talk to Spirit and sift through your thoughts
I have NOTHING against going to the gym. If you are an avid weightlifter or feel a therapeutic release running on a treadmill, please continue to do what makes you happy.
But from my experience, maybe people I work with in my coaching program have a limited view of what counts as exercise. And most of the time the word exercise is associated with - calories, sweat, gym, running, cardio, weights, strength-training.
All fine things. If they make you excited to get out of bed in the morning.
How to discover movement that feels good
First, take a look at what you’ve done in the past that you’ve enjoyed. Sometimes this first step is all it takes.
👉Remember that time in college when you played on an intramural volleyball team and laughed until it hurt?
👉Or remember growing up taking dance classes and feeling freedom through expression and creativity?
👉Or maybe there was the time you vacationed in a big city and came alive when you got to walk everywhere instead of drive.
How have you moved your body in the past that brought you joy?
Once you remember some of your favorite ways of moving your body in the past, start finding ways to re-integrate them into your current life.
Next, Look at your current life.
Examine what a typical week looks like for you.
Ask yourself… are there any ways I can naturally incorporate movement that feels good into my current lifestyle.
👉Maybe you have an hour lunch break and you decide you’ll eat in the break room for 30 minutes and use the other 30 mins to go for a walk.
👉Maybe you live near a bike path and can plop your bike in your truck and go for a 30 minute ride after work before heading home.
👉Maybe you work on the 10th floor and could take the stairs halfway and the elevator the rest.
👉Maybe you work from home and could prop your laptop up on the kitchen counter and create a makeshift standing desk.
Lastly, if you cannot recall a time that you enjoyed moving your body in the past and you don’t see a simple way to naturally bring more movement into your weekly routine, it’s time to try something new.