Joyful movement is an approach to physical activity that emphasizes finding pleasure in the ways we move our bodies. It is in direct opposition to the philosophies that advise going to the gym to “earn” food or to pay penance for “unhealthy” food we’ve already eaten.
The joyful movement philosophy acknowledges that regular activity is known to be one of the primary contributors to good health and well-being, and its proponents (myself included) believe that the best way to encourage people to move regularly is for them to find movement that is pleasurable and fun. We believe that all types of movement are good and valid, from dancing to tunes in one’s bedroom to doing a triathlon. No movement is privileged over another; a walk is seen as morally equal to a hard-core spinning session.
The key to joyful movement is really listening to your body. Stop and tune in for a moment: how is your body feeling? Is it tired? Energetic? Does it want to move, or does it need to rest? If it wants to move, what kind of movement is it craving? A nice long walk? Some serious cardio? Lifting heavy things? Something playful?
It’s also about tuning in after movement and seeing how your body is feeling. What positive effects do you notice after you’ve moved your body? Has your mood changed? Do you feel physically different? Is your body happy for the movement? File your new knowledge away and use it to deepen your intuition about when your body wants movement, and what type of movement it wants.