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  • Mandy Hendrickson B.A.

Joyful Movement

Author: Mandy Hendrickson B.A.

People in movement

So, what is Joyful Movement? In eating disorders, we hear this term a lot, but what is it? Well, truly it can and may look different for everyone. Joyful movement emphasizes the importance of engaging in physical activity in pleasureful ways. While many individuals relate movement with the toxic narratives set by diet culture, joyful movement strives to oppose those thoughts and behaviors.


Diet culture has us rely on external factors to dictate how we move our bodies, and the reasons we do so. Instead, joyful movement allows us to tune into our intuitive sense of what feels good in our body, while incorporating self-compassion and understanding. Throw away the notion of exercise as punishment, the ‘should’ mindset, and association with changing our bodies. Instead, practicing intuitive movement may enable you to bring more joy into your day.


One way to find joyful movement may be to simply ask yourself, “What do I feel like doing today?” or “What do I need today?”. Listen to what your body asks for.

For instance, do your shoulders feel tense? A yoga stretch may be just what it needs. Feeling disorganized and anxious? Maybe a grounding meditation is calling.

New Years’ Resolution? Practicing shifting your mindset around movement from obligation to choice sounds great to us.


Most forms of movement can be deemed joyful, but here are a few ideas:

  1. Dancing in the kitchen to your favourite throwbacks

  2. Wrestling your kids!

  3. Walking while catching up with a loved one

  4. Roller skating

  5. Team sports (badminton, softball, kickball, etc.)

  6. Rock climbing


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