Main Menu

You’ve Heard of Intuitive Eating, But What About Intuitive Exercise?


Sometimes, you just know that you need a day, or three, off. That's intuitive exercise! Credit: Perfecto Insecto

Over the last 10 years I’ve gone from regimented eater to intuitive-eating devotee. I’ve written about it before, but without consciously realizing it, I’ve also become an intuitive exerciser.

Back in my pre-FBG days (oh, what a confusing, insecure time for me!), I’d eat when I wasn’t hungry, not eat when I was and work out NO MATTER WHAT. Getting over all that and “seeing the light,” was what led me to the content that you’re seeing on FBG today: that life is about more than counting calories, pounds lost and gained and punishing yourself with workouts you hate because you ate a stinkin’ donut.

With that said, it wasn’t until the last year or so that I really started to trust my body completely when it came to working out. Of course I’d stop if there was pain and I’d take one to two rest days a week, but I still felt a twinge of guilt when I’d unexpectedly have to miss a workout. And, honestly, sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s your brain or your body that needs a day off from exercise.

What I’ve learned though? Sometimes they both need a day off—or three. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s totally what you should do. If you can sink down below the mental chatter that plays a ping-pong game of “yes, you should work out” and “no, I don’t want to work out” in your head and ask yourself: Self, what is best for me today? Not what you should do or need to do but, but what your self would benefit most from. The answer might surprise you. Like it did me this past week.

After confessing my undying love for this place, I got a little too gung-ho and admittedly pushed it too hard for too many weeks. A twinge here and an ache there isn’t that big of a deal, unless you just keep pushing right through them, addicted to the confidence high of doing more and doing better—until all of sudden you aren’t feeling good and doing better. It was a lesson I’d learned before, but apparently needed a refresher on.

So last Monday, feeling tired, crabby and generally lackluster after a workout, I made a point to reconnect with the part of me that really knows what I need. I embraced my inner intuitive exerciser. And in doing so, I traded my usual workout routine for sleeping in, doing easy yoga and going for leisurely walks with my dog. By last Friday? I felt as good as new again. Excited to push it hard and physically ready to work out, I had fun at my next workout. No aches or a dragging fit bottom—I was back.

So what did this all teach me? That my true self has never lead me astray, so I should listen to that broad. She’s smart. Also? Intuitive exercise is the way to go. Totally the way to go.

Would you call yourself an intuitive exerciser? Would you try it? Struggled with it? Tell me! —Jenn

Those who liked this article also liked...

  • addiction news thumbnailCutting calories can be easier than you think. According to Holly Watt, MD, from the Center for Human Nutrition in Denver, “you have to start small,” and then continue to make small incremental d…
  • addiction news thumbnailRestless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that affects both women and men of all ages. The primary symptom is a creepy-crawly sensation in the legs, which compels the sufferer to move t…
  • addiction news thumbnailIt can be hard to eat healthy when you’re leading a busy lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you need to fuel your body with junk food. Natural energy and snack bars are a great way to stay healthy a…
  • addiction news thumbnailCaffeine; a stimulating compound included in many supplements today, from weight loss pills to performance enhancers, many of us consume caffeine in some form or another every day. Caffeine is a natur…


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

Daily Videos

In order to view the content on this page, you will need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Click here to download it. Social


Do You Take Supplements To Stay Healthy?
Yes, I take a multivitamin
Yes, I take individual vitamins
Yes, I take herbal supplements
Yes, I take various supplements
No, but I should
No, I don't believe in them
Total votes: 7086