Ask Yourself These Three Questions Before Working Out

Summer is upon us, and the pressures to exercise are now in full force. The days are long, the sun is out, it’s warm and bright, and we might feel like we should be exercising… but we aren’t sure if we want to.

Here are three things to ask yourself in deciding whether to exercise.

  1. Will exercising right now provide joy or deplete it?

  2. Will exercising now foster mind-body connection or serve to decrease it?

  3. What am I giving up in order to exercise? (e.g. sleep, family time, reading?)

In my role as a registered dietitian, I help clients navigate a flexible and appropriate relationship exercise. One common theme I hear is that “I feel like I should be exercising more,” or “It’s healthy to exercise so it can’t be a bad thing.”

Despite the diet culture messaging, health is so much more than muscle mass, cardio capacity, or calories burned. Emotional and mental flexibility, and palatability, are important even where our movement is concerned.

If you find that the movement you’re doing or have done in the past doesn’t provide joy, increase mind-body connection, or keep you in alignment with your current demands and priorities, then it could be time for a new list of options, or even some rest.

Kelly Jewell is a licensed and registered dietitian skilled in providing nutrition therapy to individuals struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders, chronic dieting, and pre- and post-natal nutrition.

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