Intense exercise can be a great form of self-care, but how do you know if you might be taking it too far? Here are 3 questions to start asking yourself.
BY: JAMIE MAGDIC, RDN
The concept of intuitive movement is to find exercises that are enjoyable and help you feel good in your body. But what happens if you happen to enjoy sweaty exercise sessions that leave you exhausted? Is it possible to have both?
Just as diet culture doesn’t get to claim veggies, it’s important to remember that diet culture also doesn’t get to claim your enjoyment of a sweaty workout if that is what makes you feel your best.
When it comes to moving intuitively, it’s important to consider why you are doing the types of exercise you are doing. With that said, all types of exercise can fit into intuitive movement, even hardcore, sweat sessions. Here are some questions to ask yourself to know if your intense workout is really working for your body.
1. LOVE OR HATE?
There’s nothing wrong with any kind of exercise unless it is coming from a place of self-hate rather than self-love. When exercise comes from a place of self-hate, it is an unhealthy form of exercise and requires an evaluation of why you’re choosing it.
But when the focus is on feeling good and getting stronger rather than trying to change your body, that’s when you can find out what your body and soul truly crave. Remember, everyone moves in a different way, and there is no one way to exercise.
2. WHO ARE YOU FOLLOWING?
With many social media influencers promoting hardcore, intense exercise routines, it’s important to remember that your body is not the same as theirs and your needs may be different. It’s important to also keep in mind that you may not know the full picture of their mindset, and whether they may have an unhealthy relationship with their bodies and exercise.
It’s always best to move based on observing your individual wants and needs, and finding an exercise that is joyful and healthy for your body.
3. WHAT DO YOU WANT?
When you are choosing an exercise, it’s important to uncover what your needs are and what you want to get out of it. There are a number of ways to ask this question, including:
- What do I want to gain from this movement?
- Will this movement make my body and mind feel good?
- Am I tired because I need to give my body a rest, or because I have been relatively inactive and would actually benefit from more movement?
- What are my intentions for exercising?
- What do I truly want my relationship with exercise to feel like?
- Does the movement I choose lift me up or bring me down?
Whatever exercise you do, just make sure you are evaluating why you chose those movements and if they are coming from a place of self-love.
Because health should always elevate your life, not take it away.
Adapted from the original post.
HEADER IMAGE: ALENA OZEROVA
Jamie Magdic, RDN is a Registered Dietitian who works both locally in Colorado and virtually all over the US, specializing in eating disorders, disordered eating, body image healing, and exercise addiction. Jamie has a passion to help everyone find full recovery. and is working with others on a very exciting project for those who are on the path to recovery. To make sure you don’t miss new announcements, make sure to subscribe to Jamie’s page at https://www.yourhappyhealthy.com/subscribe.