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The Power of Intuitive Exercise

Carla Birnberg

Posted on May 31 2015

I became an intuitive eater long before I tapped into the notion of intuitive exercise.

For some reason, I was able to trust my body's "knowing" with regards to food yet was slow on the proverbial uptake with heeding its messaging about workouts.

I created a workout plan. I followed the plan. Period.

Some of missing the intuitive exercise message happened when I fell in love with resistance training.

I met the weights. I was smitten with the weights. I felt strong and powerful when hoisting the weights. I ignored my body's cues to back off & rest from the weights.

It took another kind of love around here, one involving the addition of a child to our family, for me to realize the power of intuitive exercise.

I changed.

I never went back to my “planned out ways.”

Here's why.

  • It's how I already live. Mindfully. Daily. I start with meditation. I eat. I segue to work (where my approach is still mindful). Why would I change with exercise? With hindsight this makes sense. When I was in the throes of not deviating from my "program" no matter what it would have sounded crazy. We know--when we're honest with ourselves--if we wanna skip a workout because we're feeling lazy or our bodies need rest.
  • I've done the over-training thing...and it wasn't fun. I didn't know much when I first started exercising. I lifted & GREW. I lifted more more more & shrank (muscle) and held on (to body fat) and grew (exhausted, crabby, sleepless). If Id have known to be intuitive and listen to my body back then I’d have skipped the over training loop entirely.
  • The older I get the more rest I require. This could just be me or it could be common---but all that matters is I'm heeding my body's signals. Sure, Ive been tempted to get caught up in the internet hype. Challenges! Competitions! People exercising twice a day!! yet I force myself to stop, be silent and listen to what my body needs. Life is my sport. I might *look* better if I exercised longer/harder---but I wouldn't feel better.  Feeling good is what's important to me.
  • I'm a misfit. A rebel. I've shed MUSTurbation in favor of trusting myself. Living intuitively is about trust. It's creating a life-routine which is made up of doing/eating/whatever'ing a variety of things whenever your body seeks them. Exercise is no different.

None of the above means I intuitively love all exercise—I’m still human and I’m still me!

For me, it means exercise ---whether I'm sluggish or super-motivated--is never a punishment & always a gift to my body.

And you?

Have you spent time exploring what your body *wants* with regards to movement?
Have you considered your WHY behind exercise lately?


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