Intuitive Exercise: Why I’m Taking An Intuitive Approach to Working Out

Hi guys, happy Friday and happy February!

Part of me can’t believe it’s already February. The other part of me feels like 2018 has been the longest year ever. And there’s also a part of me that can’t stop writing 2017 as the date…

I wanted to chat today about my recent approach to fitness and working out as a whole. My approach to working out has changed pretty radically since September. I’ve started taking an intuitive approach to working out. It’s been a huge shift for me and how I think about working out, but I feel so much better.

intuitive exercise

What is intuitive exercising?

I’ve been hearing a lot about intuitive eating lately on some of the podcasts I listen to. But I haven’t heard much about intuitive exercise.

To me intuitive exercise means doing the workouts that my body craves. Even if that workout is not the hardest, bestest, fastest workout out there.

 

My journey to intuitive exercise.

When I first started blogging and taking boutique fitness classes I was hungry to try EVERY class out there. Cardio dance classes, whacky bootcamps, underwater spin classes. You name it, I wanted to try it. And I loved it. It was fun for me to check out these quirky classes and write class reviews.

I spent 2015 training for the NYC Marathon. During that time I still took a ton of group fitness classes but instead focused on classes I was already familiar with. I sure as hell wasn’t going to injure myself or over exert myself before the marathon.

After the marathon I had no desire to do high intensity workouts of any sort. Even after my body recovered and the soreness went away, my brain wasn’t mentally up to the challenge. All I wanted to do was yoga, yoga and more yoga. Okay and some strength training. I’ve always loved strength training more than cardio.

I felt really guilty about this. Almost like it meant I was a lazy person because I wanted to go to yoga and not some crazy ass bootcamp class.

I was also nervous that my body would change. Yes, a big part of why I work out is because it makes me feel good. But I do also want to look good.

So, I continued to go to fitness classes I didn’t love.

 

How the shift happened.

While my shift had already sort of started post-marathon, I really gave myself permission to let go of my old exercise habits in September. Some of it was because I started teaching at CorePower Yoga. Teaching sculpt is physically demanding and I don’t want to overdo it.

Some of it was not having the time to work out as much as I used to.

And some of it was financially not being able to afford to workout the way I used to. Hey, just being honest! But it gave me the push I needed to really listen to my body, take a step back, and figure out which workouts I craved.

 

What intuitive exercise looks like to me

▶︎ I’m focusing on the workouts I love.

Not the workouts that I feel like I should be doing. Lately this means:

lots of barre classes at Bar Method. I just freaking love Bar Method these days and it almost surprises me. At first I liked the workout but now it’s love. I’m a believer that sometimes the best workout is the one you can squeeze in. Because Bar Method doesn’t leave me sweaty (it does leave me sore!) and they offer a lot of classes during the day it’s super convenient for me.

• Yoga Sculpt at CorePower Yoga. One because it’s free 🙂 But also because I love the mind, body, strength fusion. And I love supporting my fellow instructors.

• Lift at Body Space FitnessThis strength focused, cardio-free class is my JAM.

Strength at Uplift. This class will forever be my forever. And this studio forever my happy place.

• And sometimes yoga. But not as often as I want to these days.

These workouts work for me because I love them and I find myself craving them.

 

▶︎ I’m doing a butt ton of walking.

My favorite way to move my body  these days is actually walking. On especially crazy days I’d rather go for a long ass walk than take a fitness class. Because walking is my most used mode of transportation, I forget that walking is movement. You don’t need to take a fitness class to move.

 

▶︎ I’m working out less than ever.

Sometimes sleeping in beats working out. And sometimes I just don’t want to workout. So I don’t.

 

▶︎ I’m trying not to worry about how I look.

Easier said than done, but I will say this:

My body hasn’t changed drastically. In fact I think my body looks extra good these days. Yeah I have days that I don’t feel my sexiest. And I have days when my abs looks freaking fierce. But what I mean is that my body didn’t suddenly freak out. I had a full body analysis recently — body fat, muscle mass, the works. It’s something I’ve been doing every December for the last four years.

Everything stayed roughly the same. I believe my body is at the right weight for me and therefore I can maintain that weight doing whatever it is I want to do. I don’t need to kill myself in a fitness class to maintain that body.

 

Your Turn: Have you ever tried an intuitive approach to working out? What workouts does your body crave?

 

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  • i love your outlook on fitness so freakin’ much. i was just thinking about this yesterday when i was on my lunch walk – it’s amazing how much things change as we get older and life and work and responsibilities happen. i used to work out 7 days a week and absolutely loved it, but that’s just not an option for me right now, and that’s okay. i’m also in the boat where like, a super sweaty high intensity workout sounds appealing maybe only once a week, and that’s okay, too. thankful that classes like bar method exist!!!