With all the diet and exercise propaganda out there that promises salvation for your body, it’s hard to know what a healthy relationship with exercise looks like. Below is a list of 10 helpful strategies and intentions that promote a more intuitive and healthy relationship with exercise. 
woman exercising
1. Work out because you love your body not because you hate it or because you want to change it.
2. Start with respect- honor where your body is that day and determine what kind of movement your body needs even if that’s rest! Remember, rest is an essential component for developing a respectful relationship with your body.
3. Let go of rule driven behaviors around working out i.e. “I have to work out for 90 minutes for my workout to count”.
4. Let go of rigidity around exercise when your workout routine starts to feel inflexible or extreme.
5. Engage in movement/exercise that you actually enjoy, not in exercise that you think you “should” be doing.
6. Focus on moderation- some form of movement 3-5 x a week, provided you are not medically or nutritionally compromised.
7. Let go of the belief that exercise means a grueling workout in a class or gym and embrace that exercise can be movement related to your unstructured lifestyle, such as walking.
8. Take time to rest when your body is sick or run down.
9. Enhance exercise by making it something fun you do socially with friends.
10. Build in flexibility and variety into your exercise routine. Doing the same exercise routine leads to lack of enjoyment plus different exercises allow for different parts of your body to be used!

Article By Julie Raymond, LCPC

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