You may see the term joyful movement being shared more often on social media, but what is joyful movement and how can you find yours?
Joyful exercise is a training approach that is about moving your body in fun ways that feel good for your unique body, and transforming your mindset by moving from something you need to "do" into something that makes you happy because it helps you feel best
What we often see in our Mindful Nutrition Method ™ members is that when they struggle with their relationship with food, they have also experienced challenges with their relationship with movement and movement of their bodies. Many of them tended to exercise too much, view exercise as a way to make up for "bad food" eating, and struggle with the all-or-nothing mentality of doing strenuous exercise every day or at all.
We've also heard from them that they don't enjoy or look forward to exercise.
By finding a type of exercise that feels good for your body and is fun, you can transform your relationship with exercise, develop more consistency with the movement of your body, and take advantage of all of these incredible health benefits of exercising and finding your fitness routine.
In this article, you will learn simple steps to find your joyous movement.
Why Joyful Movement Is Important
Before we explore how to find a joyful move that works for you, let's examine some of the key benefits of this approach to training.
Improves your health
We all know that exercise has myriad benefits in helping you maintain your unique weight balance, balancing blood sugar, lowering your risk of heart disease (3), lowering your risk of high blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, which Improve mental health and mood and strengthen bones, improve sleep and increase overall life and quality of life afterwards Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to the powerful health benefits of exercise, enjoyable exercise can help you make more nutritious dietary choices and feel good about your unique body, too. This is why joyful exercise is so important!
Supports a positive relationship with exercise
Focusing on finding feel-good moves rather than moving as punishment can help you develop a more positive relationship with exercises where you choose to move because it's fun, feels good in the moment, and supports you also best afterwards.
It may take time and patience to get to this place with exercise, but finding a few ways to move your body that feels comfortable is a good first step in improving that mentality.
Builds more consistency
Another benefit to exercise is that it makes it so much easier for you to be consistent, and we know it is so important in any practice to promote your health and wellbeing.
If you develop habits – be it the food you eat, the way you move, or some other practice – that feel comfortable, you will look forward to making those choices for yourself on a regular basis.
Here's how to find your joyous movement and build your practice
Use these steps as a guide to find your joyous move and build your practice.
1. Identify the types of movement that would feel best
The very first step in creating your joyful exercise practice is to identify the types of exercise that feel best for you.
Some of you may have an idea of what movements you like, but for many people, you may need more time to try different exercises and see what feels best.
As you think about it, it can be helpful to think about the different high-level categories of movement and the types of exercises in each.
- aerobics: like cardio kickboxing, dance, trampoline, cycling, etc.
- Strength: like pilates, yoga, body weight, lifting, etc.
- Activity: such as hiking, climbing, kayaking, SUP, team sports, etc. (Note: Activity-based exercise is a great option for finding comfortable ways to move your body, but depending on where you live, it may not be the most accessible option for your daily life, so you can consider your weekend exercise and have other exercise for during the week)
A good place to start is to try a variety of workouts with this new perspective, look for joyful exercise, and see which ones are really fun for you.
obé Fitness is an incredible virtual fitness platform that we recommend for this reason! obé offers more than 15 class types including strength, dance, cardio boxing, yoga, pilates, sculpture, and more. They can offer a library with thousands of classes upon request. So you can test different styles of exercise to see what you enjoy.
We also recommend obé because it's so convenient. You can access the workouts on any device, most classes don't require equipment, and most classes are 28 minutes long so you can easily add them to your schedule (plus, they offer classes of just 10 when pushed for the time).
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Start getting into it by trying a form of movement weekly to see what feels good to you.
Be patient with yourself and try new exercises until you find something that feels right – I promise there is something for everyone, regardless of your current fitness level or age!
2. Connect with friends (or make new ones) for more fun and accountability
One of the best tools for creating a new habit is having a partner's power for accountability for two beneficial reasons.
First one study showed that those who exercised with their spouse, friends, or co-workers were happier and enjoyed their work more than when they were alone.
And the second benefit is the accountability aspect. Another study found that the support someone had received from exercising with a partner made it more likely that they would continue the habit of exercising on their own.
This is why connecting with others is such an important aspect of your healthy habits, especially exercise.
We encourage our members within the Mindful Nutrition Method ™ to reach out to friends or make new friends who will commit to supporting them on their journey. A good example of this is finding friends to exercise with you a few days a week.
This is another reason I recommend the obé fitness platform because it has features that allow you to do just that! With the workout party function, you can train with up to 7 friends at the same time. So you can easily and conveniently get in touch virtually with friends and move around together.
If you currently have no one in your life to act as your responsibility partner, obé is having an incredible experience Community on Facebookwhere you can connect with other like-minded people who share the same goal of moving their bodies in a pleasant way!
You can also find on-site training classes that you and your friends can conveniently attend. There is no right or wrong answer here. So find out what works best for you and your workout partner, and what feels best for both of you.
3. Make yourself comfortable step by step
Just as the all-or-nothing mentality is common with diet, it's also common with exercise.
You don't have to go straight from training to daily training.
whether it For example, the class lasts between 10 and 45 minutes and gives you options. This can give you the flexibility you need to get started and still have the freedom to move your body, even on days when you may not have that much time.
Before you get into your joyful movement exercise, ask yourself how many days of training are manageable to get started with (remember that after a few weeks of consistency you can keep gaining weight) and how much time it will take you to practice, and exactly when is the best day and time each week to do that.
Answering these questions will make it easier for you to move into your routine without it feeling stressful. Remember, the point is to take the time it takes to build consistent habits. It's not about perfection or all-in.
4. Add more convenience
Another way to be more consistent with your joyful exercise practice is to think about how you can make it more comfortable for yourself.
One of the key principles of habitual psychology is removing the obstacles or barriers that may arise. The more obstacles in your way, the less likely it is that you will get through.
One way to make your workout more convenient is to do it at home rather than at the gym. That way, you don't have to get in the car and drive anywhere, which adds more time and one more step in the process. Instead, you can get started right away at home.
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Another example is laying out your workout clothes the night before so everyone is ready. This removes the barrier of having to find all of your different clothes in the moment!
You can also choose in advance what type of exercise you want to do to reduce decision fatigue and to set up your space with a mat and water when exercising at home.
5. Have options for yourself
If you've ever tried to be consistent with any kind of habit, especially exercise, there are always days when we don't feel 100% or our minds simply tell us we don't feel like persevering .
Because of this, it is important to have options for yourself so that you can be flexible about your habit while staying on the right track.
Once you've explored many exercise options, I recommend developing three different joyful exercise situations, depending on your energy level and mood. Many of our members use this habit strategy to prepare for the days they may not want to get through.
- Ideal movement: This is the workout that you look forward to the most, and that you do when you have lots of energy, sleep well, and have all the time you need that day
- Gentle movement: This option is for when you really want to move your body, but you may feel a little low on energy, particularly stressed or sore from another workout and need to be a little kinder and gentler with your body that day.
- Movement "good enough": This option is for when you really don't feel like moving your body, are sick, or haven't slept well, but you know you still need to exercise your body. This can be anything from a 10-minute exercise class to a 15-minute walk with your dog – anything that feels like you can do it no matter what you're feeling.
Having these types of joyful exercise options already planned out can give you more flexibility in your routine so that you can stay consistent without falling into the all-or-nothing mentality.
Put this into practice
After you understand more about what joyful movement is, you can follow these steps and figure out which movements feel best for you and build your own joyful movement routine.
As you work through, be sure to come back when you visit and see what works for you and what feels really good and where you might need to make adjustments. Give yourself time to find out what feels good to you!