By Melissa Buscetta, RD, CDN
Intuitive movement is the practice of connecting with your body and its internal cues and using that awareness to determine what type of movement, how long, and the intensity you’d like to engage in. It also incorporates the concept of mindfulness by being present in whatever movement you choose to do.
By practicing this behavior you’ll nurture a healthy relationship with physical activity, enabling you to improve your fitness in a way that is pleasurable for you.
The word “movement” is used instead of “exercise” because exercise can conjure up images of very planned, formal activities, while movement can be any way you choose to move your body, even outside formal fitness settings. Movement could mean vacuuming your house or grocery shopping and unloading those heavy groceries. Movement could mean chasing your children in the backyard or going on a walk with a friend. It could mean stretching on the floor, or going to a Barre class or for a run.
Embracing this mentality can free us from the “all or nothing” mindset. We may find ourselves moving more, and spend more time engaging in enjoyable movement. This type of activity may fall under the category of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. When we don’t have time for structured activities, keep in mind that the goal is less sedentary time to aid in long-term weight management.
Practicing intuitive movement can help increase our overall activity, which will enable us to reach and maintain our health goals.
Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.