9 Ways To Love Moving Your Body

Looking for exercise tips or weight loss advice? That is not this post. If you'd like to learn how to love moving your body, click through for 9 great ideas! #exercise #movement #haes

For many of us, exercise has been not-so-happily married to the idea of weight loss. We may have started an exercise routine for the first time in the pursuit of shedding pounds. It may have worked. Or, more likely, it may not have.

Despite strong evidence that exercise does not actually lead to sustained weight loss, the majority of us operate under the illusion that it does. In fact, many researchers call it downright “useless” when it comes to losing weight. The reasons for this lie in a combination of the increased hunger intense exercise creates and our bodies’ set points.

If you’re starting to sweat just thinking about that, don’t despair – exercise has many other benefits outside of reducing the number on the scale.

In fact, if we can divorce exercise from weight loss, we may be more likely to engage in it regularly.

You see, when you’re exercising to lose weight, and then you don’t, you become frustrated and disenchanted with the whole process. You’re more likely to resent exercise while you’re doing it and to give up on it more easily if you don’t see results on the scale.

And exercising mindfully? Forget it.

The tragedy is that so many of us have come to loathe exercise.

Even many who do it regularly don’t enjoy it, mainly because they associate it with repeated failures (to do something that our bodies are not designed to do, mind you). They aren’t in touch with the fact that movement also has incredible physical and emotional benefits, like reducing blood pressure, improving mood, boosting energy, and even improving learning.

The amazing thing is that these benefits don’t just come from running on a treadmill.

There are thousands of ways to move your body that take the focus off numbers and put it back on helping you develop a solid relationship with your body. Here are 9!

9 ways to love moving your body

1. Go to a playground

Spend an hour or so at a playground and, trust me, you’ll be worn out. Whether you’re chasing around a small child or just hanging by yourself on the monkey bars or swings, you’ll be moving your body and connecting to your inner child.

2. Start a yoga practice

For me, yoga is all about balance – physically, mentally, and emotionally. It feels amazing to move your body in new ways, meanwhile connecting with your breath, your heart, and your deepest intentions.

3. Try Hula Hooping!

The vibrant Mara from Medicinal Marzipan introduced me to this idea a couple years ago. You can’t help but have fun just watching her. You’ll definitely want to give it a try.

4. Take a dance class

Whether it’s tango, tap, or Zumba, taking a dance class is a fun way to connect with others and get your body moving to the music. Find a beginner class and grab a partner if it makes you feel more comfortable.

5. Schedule walks with friends

Speaking of companions, walks with friends are great ways to get your blood flowing while catching up on the all the latest gossip. You get the benefits of both moving and connecting, both of which are associated with healthier bodies and minds.

6. Play in the pool

To me, swimming laps seems like torture. Bringing out the noodle, kickboards, and diving for quarters? Now that’s fun!

7. Meditate

Think meditation means being all in your head? Meditation can be used in all kinds of ways to enhance connection with your body. Try this “Hunger to Move” meditation to discover what kind of movement your body is craving. Then do it!

8. Slip and Slide, Anyone?

One of my personal favorite activities of youth, the slip n’ slide can be just as fun once you’re all grown up. While it may a recipe for injury, take it easy and you’ll find yourself laughing harder than you have in a while.

9. Join a league

Sports leagues are great ways to meet new people and try out a sport in a non-competitive environment (Okay, so some leagues are pretty competitive. Join those if you’re a more serious player.). Hop online to find a volleyball, soccer, kickball, or basketball league.

Which of these activities have you tried? What would you add for fun ways to move your body?

P.S. Trying to make exercise a habit? This will help – and it’s free!

Photo by Mohammed Hijas on Unsplash

10 Comments

heather

I LOVE the hula hoop video! What a great way to move your body. I have a very sedentary job and am suffering from lower back issues. A friend recommended a Tai Chi video and I love it! Great way to gain strength and balance. 🙂

Reply
D

I love roller derby, weight lifting, and swing dancing! It took me some time to see the value in getting some exercise, but now I am hooked!

Reply
Sarah

How crazy is this?! I just recently started a serious exercise routine to help manage my anxiety and for the first time EVER I am actually sticking to it! Once I said, "I'm not doing this to lose weight, but to feel better" heading to the gym became much easier and even exciting!

Love all the ideas and can't wait to incorporate them!

Reply
Mandy

I totally agree with Sarah. I'm going through some crazy stress right now, and exercise is helping me handle it so much more than anything else. I CRAVE working out now.

My favorites are good old running (I like to be competitive with myself and try to break times/distances), gym dance classes (Bollywood is particularly awesome!) and spin if I'm feeling super ambitious. I do enjoy going to the pool, but that takes a lot more prep than I'm usually up for.

My one piece of advice is not to be afraid to try new things. Your gym is offering a new step class? Take it! Yoga? Why not? Yes, you may look a bit goofy, but it keeps your exercise routine from getting stale. 🙂

Reply
Amy

These are great ideas, I am terrible at doing exercise because it just feels so *boring* to run for half an hour on the treadmill. I do have yoga scheduled on my summer to do list – everyone raves about it, I'm excited to see what all the fuss is about! xoxo

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Kaitlin

I totally agree with Sarah up there. I've recently decided/realized that my exercise routine (weight lifting and walking, primarily, and trying to build a more regular yoga practice) is crucial for my mental health and I need it and it doesn't matter one iota how many calories I burn doing it. Suddenly…. I am not finding excuses to NOT do it!!

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Chelle Lynn

Aerial silks has been my new groove. I was inspired by Tolly of Austin Eavesdropper. I've lost weight, gained muscle, all without really trying. Plus, I haven't felt this accomplished and rewarded since high school. I'm so in love with it that I'm joining a local circus school. Yes, my life is an after school special.

Reply

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