There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the benefits that come from working out. However, finding platforms or studios are offer a safe, inclusive environment can be a challenge. So the question becomes: do the benefits of movement in general outweigh the feelings of obsession, worthlessness or comparison that participating in current fitness culture tends to come with as well?
the dreaded fitness industry
We are inundated with influencers and fitness professionals using their bodies as a business card to promote services and their platform. The narrative of “if you move like me you will look like me” not only drives toxic comparison but also is just simply not how the human body works. Bodies are extremely unique and typically your genes run the show in your overall body shape and size.
The fitness industry can also project a more intimidating or non inclusive vibe to working out. Leading people to feel timid or even fearful of starting any form of movement routine.
I think this goes without saying but…. toxic fitness culture is messed up. Fostering non accessible spaces only further prevents people from participating in something that may be extremely beneficial for the overall mental and physical well-being.
By putting working out in this unattainable bubble we are sending the message that we can only workout if it looks a certain way, burns x amount of calories, we are sweating, etc.
What ever happened to movement that was fun? Enjoyable? Feels good? Allowed you to connect to your body? Fostered acceptance and respect rather than comparison and hatred?
We’re here to help us move towards that. Because movement should be inclusive for all. Period.
How to start enjoying working out
1. clean up your social media feed
Being constantly bombarded with fitness culture that isn't serving you can only foster toxic comparisons that make working out a lot less enjoyable. If your social feed is filled with the aforementioned toxic fitness instructor - you have permission to hit the unfollow button. Recognizing what you are surrounded with can be an important first step to quiet the external noise so you are able to look inward.
Another important step is finding people who you feel look like you in the fitness space. Working out is for all size, shapes, genders, races.
2. Brainstorm what you like!
Think about when you were younger, before you thought about food or body. What did movement look like then? Was it swimming with your best friends in a lake? Cartwheels on the front lawn with your cousins? Helping your mom do chores around the house? Challenge yourself to get curious about what movement you did when it felt fun.
Write it down.
One of our favorite reflective questions is: If you knew movement wouldn't change your body, what type would you engage in? Once you have a solid list, we can start to think about the inclusive movement spaces that exist (hello NourishRX Movement PATH).
There is nothing wrong with trying new things when experimenting with working out! Once you figure out the types of movements that once felt joyful without the pressure of dieting or fitness culture - experiment with inclusive movement.
Limit expectations for yourself or pressure for it to look a certain way. Challenge yourself to think about what it would feel like to just show up, take a moment to be in your body and see how the movement makes you feel.
And the best part is - if you don’t like something. You don’t have to do it. Period, end of story. There are a bunch of different ways to move your body - you get to decide what feels good for you!
NourishRX Movement PATH
If you are looking for an inclusive movement space that has some familiar faces and is a trusted source - check out the newest PATH from NourishRX. Our Movement PATH is an online library with various types of movement videos categorized by Restore, Reconnect and Reclaim. Three new videos are added every week with live videos happening over on our Facebook community page!
The PATH is safe for those in eating disorder recovery as it follows Safe Exercise At Every Stage Guidelines. And for those who are working on healing their relationship with food and body through Intuitive Eating and a non-diet approach. There is truly something for everyone. Come see what it’s all about!
If you are interested in a more individualized approach, not to fret. We also have you covered! Contact our office today to discuss next steps.
And as always - if you have any questions or concerns please drop us a line to see how we can best support you.