Saturday, August 1, 2009

Making Peace with Exercise

Do you hate to exercise? Do you obsess about exercise? Do you feel guilty about exercising too much ... or too little? In order to ditch dieting and disordered eating you must make peace with exercise. The first step is to view exercise as "activity". Something your body needs just like food, water and air. It is not about burning calories or completing some eating disorder ordained command. If we all made our living by working in the fields all day, this discussion would not be necessary. Here are some suggestions to help you continue the process of making peace with exercise:
  • Find something fun to do each day that involves non-stop movement. Walking is just fine.
  • Don't set rules about how long you need to be active. Just move.
  • If you use exercise machines ... cover up the "calories burned" info.
  • Participate in a group activity of some sort. Maybe a dance class.
  • Think of this movement as a way to nurture your body.
  • Consider activity as an investment into your current and future health.
  • Do not focus on activity/exercise as merely a weight management tool.

If you find getting your activity in is becoming burdensome or is in any fashion detracting from your quality of life (like isolating you from friends/family, making you late for work, etc.) you need to step back and reassess your priorities in life. You can thoughtful and deliberate about giving your body activity without being obsessive.

How have you made peace with exercise?

1 comment:

  1. Covering up the calorie count (or changing the setting altogether if that's an option!) definitely helps prevent obsessing about my workout. I've recently become (it's taken some effort!) more comfortable with skipping a day--or even two! Still working on that. A recent toe injury made me take my "step back" and reassess my priorities. My body and mind are already thanking me for that. :) I'm learning that it's ok to like, even enjoy, exercise--not because I HAVE to, but because it's good for me. I'm also learning that REST is good for me, too!