The short answer is: “maybe.”
EDs have a way of fundamentally changing one’s beliefs about the function of behaviors like exercise; black-and-white or perfectionist thinking about exercise can lead to relapse or derail recovery just as black-and-white or perfectionist thinking about food can. But in the same way that no one can create a healthy relationship with food by avoiding it, it can be difficult to find a healthy relationship with one’s own body without movement.
At Alsana, joyful, nourishing exercise is not avoided. Movement is a key component of the Adaptive Care Model® and a powerful way to improve mind-body connection, confidence, mood regulation, stress management, and more. But as is so often the case in recovery, the intentions behind exercise behaviors are just as important -if not more so – than the behaviors themselves.
Some people will NOT be able to exercise during recovery at all. And for those who can, the intensity, type, and frequency of exercise will vary greatly. Everyone’s recovery is unique. If exercise is going to support recovery (as opposed to forcing unacceptable compromises in recovery), there must be acceptance, grace, flexibility, and humility. Ask yourself:
💚Are my exercise beliefs and expectations rational?
💚Where did they come from?
💚Why do I want to exercise?
💚Why do I think I *need* to exercise?
💚Are my exercises of choice joyful or obligatory?
💚If my exercise of choice could not change my body weight or appearance, would I still want to do it?
By understanding your intentions to exercise and accepting that exercise is not mandatory, you make it possible to establish a healthy relationship with mindful movement that will serve your recovery for years to come.
You can learn more about this on our blog (link in bio).
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