Movement vs Exercise: How Changing Your Approach to Physical Activity can Nourish You


Self-care is one of the foundations for managing emotional eating. One aspect of self-care is the physical aspect – taking care of your body. While everyone knows that physical activity is good for the body, exercise may not always be “healthy” for you. Some people become obsessed with exercise, purely focused on how many calories they’re burning and using exercise as a punishment for their eating habits. When physical activity is a chore that you force yourself to do, or worse, done as a punishment, it creates unnecessary stress and negativity – even if you don’t realize it!

Do you have a nourishing or punishing relationship with physical activity?

If exercise can be used as self-punishment, then what is nourishing activity? Movement! Think of how children move and participate in activities – to them, its fun and play! They don’t worry about how many calories they’re burning, or if it cancels out the food they ate earlier. They are just celebrating being alive and having fun! As adults, and especially for emotional eaters, the goal is to move away from punishing activity and participate in movement that is enjoyable to you and ultimately, nourishing to your soul. For emotional eaters, this shift will help to manage emotional eating by creating a nourishing relationship with self. 

Exercise versus Movement

Look at this list below. How do you currently view physical activity?


While exercise is geared towards "results" and feels like work, movement is a celebration of your body, health and vitality.

Participating in activities that you enjoy adds pleasure to your life helping to reduce stress and negativity. For an emotional eater, this is essential to self-care and achieving a healthier relationship with your body and with food.


How to Incorporate More Movement into Your Life

Choose from any physical activity you enjoy doing where the focus is on having fun. Remember that traditional exercise isn’t bad in itself, but rather the negative mindset and approach towards it. If you love a certain sport, like going to the gym or really enjoy an exercise class, then keep doing it! If you think its fun, definitely incorporate it into your life.

Here are some activities you can try:

Playing in the park
Restorative yoga
Jumping on a trampoline
Going for a bike ride
Playing ping-pong


Welcome more movement into your life - be in the moment, enjoy the activity and appreciate how your body works and moves. Move in a way that expresses yourself and give your body the movement it craves. This act of self-love will add more pleasure to your life and nourish your soul.