Let's Define It: Joyful Movement

I ate _____, so I need to burn _____ calories today”
”I’ve eaten so badly this week, so I need to workout harder.”
”I didn’t workout today, so I can’t eat that.

Have you ever experienced these kinds of thoughts surrounding food and exercise? If so, you’re not alone. I see you, I hear you and I’ve been there. These days, it’s easy to fall into the trap of exercise as compensation or punishment. In fact, it’s so easy that it has become the default mindset for many people. The good news?

We can reject it and rewire together.

I am a big proponent of joyful movement. This approach involves showing our bodies compassion rather than punishment. It looks different for everyone, and it requires us to be gentle with ourselves. Movement is something to be cherished because it feels good and does good things for us mentally and physically. We've become so accustomed to thinking that exercise looks like one thing, but there are so. many. options. Whether it’s going to a yoga class with a friend, walking your dog, or rock climbing for the first time; your physical body is reaping all the benefits that have nothing to do with burning calories or changing our bodies. Movement allows us to get more oxygen to our brains and release endorphins, which can help improve our moods and overall mental health.


Find an activity that brings you joy + use that as a way to move.

Joyful movement is all about the connection between mind and body. It's good energy. It's moving. It's being calm during discomfort. It's feeling good. It's being joyful. Strive to move without focusing on a number on the scale or gaining washboard abs, but rather focusing on listening and being fully connected to your body.

Don't suffer through all the good stuff, delight in it!

And the first step to enjoying the good stuff is finding your good stuff. Try new things, and know that your good stuff will most likely be different than other people's good stuff. But it's still good stuff. Here are some examples to get you moving:

  • Riding a bike

  • Walking with a friend

  • Yoga

  • Hiking

  • Cycling

  • Rock climbing

  • Gardening

  • Strength training

  • Pilates/barre

  • Playing with your kids (or dogs)

  • Running

How do you enjoy moving? What’s your relationship with your body and exercise/movement like? We’d love to hear from you and learn how you practice joyful movement! Want to learn more about bettering your relationship with your body? Click here to schedule a free consultation call with Dylan!

Written by: Maddy Walters, MS, RD (Associate at DM Nutrition)

Written by: Maddy Walters, MS, RD (Associate at DM Nutrition)