What? Intuitive Movement is a thing? Yes it is!
Let me tell you more. We were born to move. Your curiousity drove you to interact with your world. As you became more curious, you moved more. Reaching for things. Crawling to get to something that piqued your interest. Then standing and walking so you could see more, touch more, engage more.
Children are beautiful intuitive movers. They don’t sit still well (as any parent trying to teach their kids at home can attest to!). That’s a great thing! Their bodies are giving them signals to move. Perhaps we could take a cue from our kids in this regard.
Kids are driven to run, walk, jump, throw and play.
But with time and the expectations of society this natural instinct to move is squashed in favour of more time sitting and being generally sedentary. So much so that over 80% of Canadians don’t move their body enough for basic health guidelines (150 cummulative mintues per week). Yikes!
If you’re in this “crowd” don’t feel bad. You’re certainly not alone.
And, I believe part of the problem is how we view movement. Our belief that exercise is a chore and not enjoyable. Intuitive Movement aims to pull ourselves away from this unhelpful belief and get us back to moving for joy – like a kid!
Does this mean you need to head to the local playground and play? Maybe, but not necessarily.
I’ve got 5 tips to help you lean back into your inner kid and find your intuitive desire to move (again)!
5 tips to help you find your Intuitive desire to move!
- Stop making exercise punitive. If you view exercise as penance for the food you’ve eaten or as a way of “earning” your food you’re reinforcing diet mentality and stealing all the joy from movement. Don’t feel bad if you do this. It’s deeply entrenched within the fitness culture. But notice when you’re reinforcing it, and let it go. Exercise is a gift and an opportunity, not a chore!
- Let go of the rigid rules and schedule. I’ll say this first, if you really genuinely enjoy a good schedule and that structure serves you, awesome. But hear me out. For a lot of people the rigid schedule has gotten them on a hamster wheel. They keep doing it because “that’s what they do” and not because it serves and supports them. It’s a very mechanistic approach to fitness. If you think you genuinely like what you’re doing and love your schedule I have a challenge for you. Ditch it for 1 week. Commit to moving in ways that inspire you for a certain amount of time per day (say 20-30 minutes). Let the what/ how intense/ details be determined each day based on your energy, mood and desires! See what happens. If you still find yourself drawn to what you used to do (not out of convenience, but desire), cool. If you don’t, it may be worth exploring just what that’s about!
- Focus on moving in ways that bring you joy. I often hear a lot of dread in people’s voices when they talk about exercise. And honestly, it hurts my heart. Caveat: we all have days where we “don’t wanna” – that’s normal and human. And….if you have more of those days than not, perhaps it might serve you to seek the joy. Explore how you could bring more JOY to the journey. Find your “fitness personality” and have fun trying on what makes you enjoy it!
- Give yourself permission. To give up things you’ve always done if they no longer serve you. To ditch what was on the schedule (even if it inspires you) because your body says no. Just last night I was meant to go to Yoga, but I had a brutal headache and thought, you know what? No. I’m going to stay home and do some gentle stretching and chill out. It was exactly what I needed. Permission granted.
- Make movement matter (to you). This is SO important. Figure out what matters (to you). What is your primary objective? Moving for mental health? Moving towards a specific goal like climbing a local mountain or running 5k? Maybe you want to keep up with your kids on their bikes. Awesome. Figure out what makes it worthwhile for you to break past the “I don’t wannas” when you know you really can (and your body would genuinely benefit) and stay connected to that reason. Put that “why” at the forefront and move your awesome body!
Need some support to figure out the details or uncouple fitness + food? Connect with me about one-to-one coaching. Helping you bring joy to the journey is my jam! Or hey, join us in the Super You Studio. Our online community is continuing to grow and we are having so much fun. This summer we’ve got the Summer Bucket List Challenge and some fun events to keep us inspired all summer long. Join us!