How to exercise intuitively
There’s a big misconception that embracing intuitive eating means that you can’t have fitness goals and that’s simply not the case. One of the principles outlined in the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, intuitive eating specifically pertains to exercise. Despite being a personal trainer, I don’t believe that everyone has to follow a structured training programme. You certainly can if you enjoy routine and have a specific goal, such as getting stronger, running faster or becoming more flexible. Even within a structured training programme, it is possible to incorporate intuition. This is known as ‘autoregulation’ where you alter the day’s training depending on how you are feeling. There are a huge number of variables that can affect your ability to exercise, such as nutrition, sleep, mood, menstrual cycle and stress. You can take these into account and make informed choices about how you want to train, or if you want to at all. . If you don’t want to follow a structured training programme, that’s totally fine too. Maybe you like lots of variety, maybe you like to be spontaneous or perhaps your current lifestyle is really unpredictable. I’ve talked about it before but I’m a big fan of Move GB which is available in a number of cities in the UK and allows you to try all different types of activities at an affordable price. I’ve done a lot of different dance and yoga classes recently because although I love the gym, I also like having alternatives. . Whatever your approach to exercise, focus on what is fun. There are so many different ways to move your body, you can find something that works for you. When you are driven by what is enjoyable, it is so much more sustainable. When it’s not about numbers, you can focus on how it feels, mentally and physically. When it’s not about trying to change your body, you can skip a workout without guilt, anxiety or judgement. Exercise doesn’t have to be an obligation or a punishment. It can be something that enhances your life, gives you energy, boosts your mood and allows you to meet new people. You deserve that.