Re-frame how you think about exercise


How do you think about exercise?

As a chore? A way to sculpt your body and lose weight?

If you see movement solely as a way to change your body, chances are you’re not enjoying it very much!

Plus, when you think about exercise in this way, it damages the relationship with your body.

So in this post, I’m sharing three ways to re-frame how you think about movement to improve your body image.

Watch or read below:


How do you think about exercise?

For many people, exercise’s main purpose is to change the way their body looks. In a culture where the thin ideal is all pervasive, working out is seen as a means to achieve the ideal body.

But when you think about exercise in this way, it can rob you of any joy from movement. And, when you think about movement as a way to sculpt or mould your body, it can become an obsession.

Obsessively thinking about or doing exercise is not good for your body image or physical body.

How to re-frame how you think about exercise

One way to improve the relationship you have with your body is to re-frame the way you think about exercise. And I’ve got three ways you can do this:

Firstly, stop using language that links exercise and food

So for example, these kind of phrases all tie exercise to food in a negative way:

I haven’t worked out today, so I can’t have that snack;

I need to work off those biscuits I ate, even though I’m exhausted;

I’ll do a big work-out in the morning to work off this dinner.

You don’t have to earn food when you’re hungry or have a craving.

This kind of thinking reinforces ‘diet mentality’ and the ‘thin ideal’. Enjoy meals regardless of how many calories you’ve burnt off.

Secondly, listen to your body’s desire for movement

Your body naturally wants movement, so tune into when your body wants to move and when it needs to rest.

If you force yourself to move your body when it is in pain or needs rest, you’ll reinforce the idea that exercise is unpleasant.

Some movement requires you to push yourself, but learn to notice the difference between punishing your body and making it work hard.

Finally, focus on the benefits of moving your body other than weight loss. What do you gain from exercise? For example:

Stress relief – doing movement that helps you to re-charge and de-stress;
The joy of movement – doing something fun such as a dance class;
Spending time with family and friends – a bike ride or walk with your loved ones;
Improved mood – most forms of movement help you to feel more positive afterwards.

When you re-frame how you think about exercise, it really can make it more enjoyable and improve the relationship that you have with your body.

I’d love to know what impact the way you think about movement has on your body image.  Please leave me a comment below.

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