Post-Christmas, it can feel like the pressure is on to resemble a Duracell bunny after a restful December.

Gyms packed full of new, nervous faces, folks saying no to the staple office biscuit, and everyone and their grandma talking about their new (very intensive sounding) regime.

But what if 2024 could be a little different?

What if 2024 can be about prioritising the movement we enjoy? Movement that we look forward to and feels good.

Let this year be the year we choose to take the pressure off and think of exercise as something that can be fun!

Let’s get exercising, intuitively.

Intuitive exercise is about having fun and not punishing yourself, by choosing movement that makes you feel good. The focus is not on changing your body, but on seeing what your body can do.

This can look like:

  • Listening to your body
  • Giving yourself unconditional permission to rest
  • Freeing yourself from rigid rules about movement

Intuitive movement is about flexibility. This includes ridding yourself of “any strict rules about exercise and also, getting rid of diet tools like apps, scales, social media accounts, and fitness watches that dictate how you should be moving”. – Body Matters

Benefits of intuitive exercise

By choosing to move intuitively, you’re more likely to stick to regular exercise and less prone to injury and/or illness from pushing yourself too hard. By incorporating rest days as and when you need them, you’re also giving your muscles a chance to recover, and it can help keep exercise enjoyable when you do choose to work out.

With intuitive exercise, there are no rigid regimes, but instead a focus on checking in with yourself – ‘How does this feel? Am I enjoying this? Do I need a break?’.

Checking in with how exercise is making us feel encourages us to trust our bodies. We can move towards what we need, and what we enjoy. Rather than pushing ourselves to exercise a certain way that we may not even like.

A person exercising.

What does intuitive exercise look like

Here’s a great way to make your exercise intuitive. Simply ask yourself, ‘What kind of exercise do I need today’? and secondly, ‘What kind of movement am I in the mood for?’.

Perhaps you’re feeling more energetic and a run in the sun is just what you fancy. Or you’re on your period and feel like some gentle stretching and yoga. Maybe, you want no exercise at all because you had a bad night’s sleep and want to prioritise rest. It’s about seeing what you’d like to do rather than what you feel you should be doing.

Katherine Kimber BSc MSc RD from Nude Nutrition shares that intuitive exercise shifts the focus onto how it feels to move your body, away from weight loss and numbers: ‘human bodies are designed to move and activity has many health benefits.

By seeing exercise as a way to take care of ourselves, ‘we are more likely to keep it up’.

Physical exercise benefits that have nothing to do with weight loss

Weight loss might be the goal for some, but by making it the only goal of exercise you miss out on all the other awesome benefits!

Did you know that exercise can:

  • Increase strength, balance and energy
  • Regulate mood (hello endorphins!)
  • Decrease stress
  • Improve sleep

And that’s only a small snippet of the full benefits!

Two people on a walk.

Start your intuitive exercise journey

There are heaps of motivating intuitive fitness influencers like Tally Rye, Alice Liveing, and Sophee Carpenter who all advocate for intuitive exercise and share motivating content on their social media channels.

Start your journey today and start having fun with your workouts!