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Ashley Solomon, Psy.D is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, body image, trauma, and serious mental illness.

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Nine ways to love moving your body

May 29, 2012 10 Comments by Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul

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’s a list of nine fun ones to try.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Play in the pool. Swimming laps seems to me like torture. Bringing out the noodle, kickboards, and diving for quarters? Now that’s fun!

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!

Slip and Slide, Anyone? The weather is getting warmer! 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.

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?

{image credit :: via pinterest}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Emily Woodhouse
    3 years ago

    To keep a safe and sound health this suggestions should be followed. They are very necessary to keep yourself healthy. Thanks for the precious post.
    Emily Woodhouse recently posted..Diet for Muscle – Muscle Building Protein

    Reply

  2. Eating as a Path to Yoga
    3 years ago

    For me it is yoga and walking outside!!!

    Reply

  3. Karyle
    3 years ago

    Actually, this is really what we all need to know.. I think this is very important because exercise is essential in our life..
    Karyle recently posted..Start Earning Money Online Today

    Reply

  4. Born27
    3 years ago

    These are all great form of exercise.. I’m already into walking and dancing and it helps! I’ve tried holla hoops before, but it didn’t work for me.
    Thanks for this great tips!
    Born27 recently posted..Internet to Phone

    Reply

  5. Shenamea Frosse
    3 years ago

    There are lots of benefit you can get in moving your body. Some of the important benefits you can be able to gain is to have a good circulation of the blood and healthy lifestyle. Indeed, I love doing yoga exercise. This is one way I really love to do since it can totally move my body.
    Shenamea Frosse recently posted..Alta White

    Reply

  6. sunny
    3 years ago

    I love these ideas!

    A group of friends and acquaintances have been meeting every Sunday night during the summer so far to play tag…. running around a huge set of playground equipment that is two stories… even the most fit get out of shape but we laugh a lot.

    I take a water fitness class that is so much fun and has really helped me work on my core.

    I also live in a city with many lakes, with one downtown that has a 2-mile lap around it. It’s THE thing to do to walk with friends around the lake.

    I’d like to try your idea of a dance class. Sounds fun!
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  7. The mental weight loss
    3 years ago

    I want to thank you for posting such powerful and valuable information.This is a very good blog,keep up the good works.
    mental weight loss

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  8. Cassey Chalks
    3 years ago

    It is really nice to keep your body moving. When you keep your body moving, this is a good way to have a good workout. I often do cardiovascular workouts at home and I am planning to enroll yoga sessions this summer.
    Cassey Chalks recently posted..Tips That Will Help People With Prevent Arthritis Pain

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  9. Fiona
    2 years ago

    The Hunger to Move meditation sounds interesting, but I think you forgot to link it. :-)

    Reply

  10. Attorneys Ethics In Peoria Il
    5 months ago

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is
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    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!
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