Intuitive exercise is an approach to working out that honors the mind-body connection. When working in harmony, your body and mind know best. When you’re hungry your stomach growls and alerts your brain you need to eat, when you’re experiencing pain, your body can alert you to where it hurts, and when you’re all juiced up and ready to work out, you just know.
This intrinsic knowledge your body is communicating to you on a daily basis, however, is frequently sidelined when you exercise for the wrong reasons: when you push yourself through workouts you don’t want to do. When you only workout for shallow reasons or short-sighted goals.
So what are the right reasons, and how can intuitive exercise help you reach your fitness goals?
What is Intuitive Exercise?
Why do we need to exercise? Remove aesthetics from the equation and you’re left with your answer: we move our bodies because it keeps us healthy and happy. So rather than working out so you look your best, the idea of intuitive exercise is working out so you feel your best.
Intuitive exercise involves listening to your body to decide what kind of movement it needs that day. It doesn't always have to be high-intensity training. Sometimes it will be gentle yoga, mobility training, a swim, a walk, or a jog.
Intuitive exercise still involves movement, but it does not divide the mind-body connection. It says that if you don’t feel like doing HIIT one day, don’t do it. Yes, you should move (because movement is vital and important) but what you do is secondary: you’re being active, and that’s what matters most.
How to Intuitively Exercise in 5 Easy Steps
1. Workout, Your Way
Many of us jump onto a workout because a friend recommended it or social media hyped it, but is that reason enough to commit to it? That’s a lot like following dietary fads and expecting them to work; success in fitness or diets, happens when your heart’s in it. So brush off what everyone else is doing, unless it’s something that challenges your body and mind, and find a workout that satisfies your body’s need for movement.
Join the BodyRock family today, and find your perfect workout. We have thousands of workouts ranging from HIIT to cardio to dance to mobility and yoga that anyone of any fitness level can do anywhere.
2. Tune In, Not Out, When You Workout
It’s common practice for most people’s minds to check out when they check-in to a workout. Own your body and if it’s safe to do so, take your shoes and socks off and “be one with your workout”—be present and really try to connect your mind and body as you feel the burn in your thighs. This will help prevent injuries as you’ll become more acquainted with your body’s cues. It’ll also better engage your muscles.
3. Use Post-Workout Bliss to Fuel Your Next Workout
Most of us like a happy ending. All that feel good energy you get after smashing a sweat session is the kind of thing you want to draw on when you’re going into your next workout. Aspire to end every workout on a high note and revel in the satisfaction that you kicked that workout’s ass and use that as motivation as you start your next session.
4. Forget Schedules
Unless you live minute-to-minute, scrap the idea of having a set workout time. Your body isn’t part machine, it doesn’t want to workout every other day at precisely 3:32pm. Your mind maybe likes the predictability, but what’s your body’s take on it? Get in the habit of listening to your body. When there’s a peak in your energy, if you have the time, use that energy surplus to your advantage and dive into a workout.
5. Change the Narrative
In the same way you want to be present during a workout, you want to listen to the mental chatter going on in your head. Does your ego have the mic and is it filling your head with limiting beliefs, like you’ll never be able to do a full push-up? As soon as you hear a “can’t” going out over the airwaves, change the narrative to “can”--maybe not this second but eventually. Don’t let your fears or anxieties limit your ability to perform and exceed your fitness goals.