5 Tips on Feeling the Difference When Exercising

by Dawid Furman
Exercise: Feel the Difference

Exercise to Feel the Difference is the ninth principle of Intuitive Eating outlined by Tribole & Resch in the Intuitive Eating Workbook.

Exercise is beneficial for our health; however, problems may arise when the consistency of exercise is taken into consideration.

As a lot of people exercise for purely aesthetic reasons instead of for pleasure, which sets them up for disappointment. 

If you shift your focus to moving your body and enjoying exercise instead of burning calories you will feel much more energized and will be more consistent with it.

Exercising to burn calories is not motivating and will usually sooner or later make you fail.

Follow on reading for 5 tips on Feeling the Difference When Exercising:

Start By Sitting Less

The modern person tends to sit for more hours than they sleep which is associated with many negative effects on health.

For this reason, it is not enough to focus on just exercise as because of the amount of sitting you do at school, work, etc. you can exercise and still be considered sedentary.

If you are not in shape, sitting less can be a good first step to getting back to exercising.

Pick a certain weekday and day on the weekend and reflect on how many hours you sat for each day. What was the longest number of hours of uninterrupted sitting you had?

You can sit less by interrupting prolonged sitting in ways such as getting up to stretch every hour or taking stand-up breaks while sitting or reading.

Get Pleasure from Physical Activity

Deriving pleasure from physical activity is one of the most important factors when talking about consistency regarding physical activity.

If an activity makes you feel good you will likely repeat it, as it enhances the mind-body connection, alleviates stress, and rejuvenates rather than exhausts.

Explore how exercising for pleasure would increase your desire to be active and change the selection of exercise as well as exercise setting. Ask yourself would pleasant physical activity make the experience more enjoyable?

Would you decide to change the type of exercise to a type that would be more invigorating rather than exhausting?

Explore Benefits and Barriers of Physical Activity

Although many people exercise to lose weight, there are many other health benefits of exercise you should be aware of such as the fact it reduces the risk of many chronic diseases as well as improves the quality of life. 

Click here to find out the short and long-term benefits of physical activity. How would exercising for one of those benefits make you feel?

Even if you decide you want to start exercising, there will still be many barriers you may need to overcome. Some of these barriers may have been with you since childhood eg. you were bullied into exercising.

Reflect on what possible barriers you may have towards exercise and think of solutions for each one. Adequate self-care is a common solution to overcome many barriers. 

Discover Physical Activities you Enjoy

When trying to find a physical activity you enjoy, consider points such as whether you like exercising alone or in a group, indoors or outdoors, what is your fitness level as well as you want to feel calm or energized after the activity.

From this information explore what activity most suits your needs and what would you need to get started in it.

Consider what you need to keep expectations realistic, especially if you are unfit.

How To Know if You Are Getting Enough Exercise?

In terms of how long you should exercise, the World Health Organization at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking combined with two days of strength training.

Intensity refers to how much effort you put in and moderate is a 5 on a 0 to 10 exertion scale.

It is however important that some exercise is better than none and it is okay to start slow

You can start monitoring your exercise in a journal and over time you will notice that 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise is very manageable.

Also, create a weekly planning guide to plan a realistic activity duration and intensity. Remember to monitor how you feel during the process to prevent injury and keep the process pleasant.

If you found this blog post interesting please continue reading our 10 principle series on Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is challenging but with the help of a Registered Dietitian, it is common that clients will break through and get off their diet rollercoaster for the long haul and open up space in their life to feel more freedom.


If you are interested to learn more about Intuitive Eating, continue on reading:

  1. Ditch The Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace With Food
  4. Challenge The Food Police
  5. Feel Your Fullness
  6. Discover The Satisfaction Factor
  7. Cope with Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise: Feel the Difference
  10. Honour Your Health: Feel the Difference

Find Your Registered Dietitian here

On Dietitian Directory you can find all sorts of Dietitians including Intuitive Eating DietitiansWeight Inclusive DietitiansMindful Eating Dietitians and Emotional Eating Dietitians


About the Author: Dawid Furman is a nutrition and exercise science student studying at the South East Technological University in Ireland and hopes to pursue a career as a dietitian in the future.

Reviewed by: Lindsey McGregor, RD

Images from: Unsplash and Pexels


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