What is intuitive fitness and why is it getting so much attention now?
Intuitive fitness essentially helps you avoid overtraining, injury and exhaustion, but it does require quite a lot of self-motivation.
This intuitive approach to training could help to determine how hard you train, what type of training you do and how long you are planning on training.
How is it different to structured exercise?
With intuitive fitness, rather than having a super-structured program, you would go to your workout space or gym and just do the movements and exercises you feel like doing in the order that feels right in the moment.
If you do prefer to exercise in a fitness class that is structured, you could still schedule your classes and go as hard or as easy as you like.
What are the pros and cons of doing intuitive fitness?
The pros are that it’s good for your wellbeing, body image, mindset and your body in a physical sense, as you are not putting too much pressure on it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a structured program, this could be a great start to take the pressure off.
The cons are that if you do have a fitness goal in mind, it may not be the best way to train. [Improving] your muscles will feel a little sore, especially when you’re starting out, so if you’re not familiar with what exercise actually feels like, you run the risk of undertraining.
How can we become better at listening to our bodies?
Take a minute before you train to be still, do some deep breathing and move your body around softly to see if you have any aches or niggles. Also check in with how much energy you have.
As you start training, pay attention to how the movement is feeling. Can you feel the exercise in the right places? Or are you getting pain or tightness during the exercise? You may even need to stop and do some mobility exercises prior to doing the exercise that you want to do next.
Do you have any tips for getting started?
Have a basic idea of the workouts you plan on doing when starting out, and as you exercise, if you feel the need to do something else, do so. Also, continue to schedule your workouts in.
Remember, it takes around three weeks to build a habit, so make sure exercise is part of your life before taking your foot off the pedal to do it intuitively.
Adala Bolto is the director of ZADI Training in Sydney. Visit zadi.com.au