I Quit Exercise

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Img 3160 1080X675 1 | I Quit Exercise

Did you get your workout in today—or at least this week?

Chances are, if you’re like most fitness enthusiasts, you checked off your box or earned your gold star for getting in your gym time.

  • You put in the time at your 60-minute spin class.
  • Ran your usual 6-mile loop.
  • Kicked your own butt at CrossFit.
  • Started the day off with your 90-minute Vinyasa flow.
  • Walked for 30-minutes.
  • Or swam 20 laps.

Then you called it a day.

Check. Check.

Exercise complete. Feeling good about yourself.

And you are a healthier individual because of it…that is until the next day, when you have to do the same thing again, or keep carving time out for your exercise routine.


Even though you do like it, exercise is one of those formalities of life—much like going to work, or meal time, or sleep.

We separate it into its own box, making it apart of our “to do” list—rather than a part of being human.

Your body doesn’t see exercise the same way you and I see it.

We often see it as a checklist item. Your body sees exercise as movement.

We see it as a routine, dedicated time to sweat. Your body places no labels on it.

Your body sees exercise as movement.

We see it as a specific structured time when we…

  • Gather with others in a small room and jump up and down (bootcamp, pump class);
  • Follow our FitBit’s calculation of 3-miles exactly (a run)
  • Move our legs fast to the beats of Beyonce on the spin bike (spin);
  • Or press a bar up and down 10 times as fast as we can, in between box jumps and burpees, within an 8-minute time frame (CrossFit)

And when the buzzer sounds or the mileage is complete, we come to an abrupt halt—patting ou
r selves on the back (“good girl”), downing a protein shake or justifying our post-workout meal as a reward (“you earned it”)—before we leave our exercise box, to go to our work box or our chore box or our meal time box.

But your body doesn’t see exercise that way.

All your body sees is that it’s movement time—and for as long as you’re moving, it’s working for you.

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Your body doesn’t see movement as formal exercise:

  • Did you get in your 60-minute stint on the StairMaster again today?
  • Did you get in your 6-miles today?
  • Did you jump up and down in aerobics class today?
  • Did you tighten and tone your glutes today?

Instead, your body prefers to see exercise as intuitive movement if you will let it it.

  • Some times it can (and wants) to pick up a heavy barbell 10-30 times.
  • Other times, it’s got the power in it to run the length of a football field, walk back, then go again—fast.
  • Other times, a long run or long hike sounds really good—getting lost in clearing your head, meditation and prayer.
  • Sometimes, it’s tight—and all it wants is a really mobility session with a lacrosse ball and some low-intensity movement on a rower or incline walk.
  • And still, other times, it likes to connect at a community or group workout, spurring your competitiveness to come out—and getting excited: it’s ready to perform and…move.

How can you “exercise” in a way that allows your body to do what it was made to do for your physical finesse: simply move?

No formalities, checklists, or “must do cardio to burn off that ice cream” needed.

How can you move your body today in a way that quiets the “exercise mentality” or checklist?

Chances are, this type of movement will look different every day.

(Hence: The importance of varying your routine).

Just like some days you eat chicken, other days you eat beef, or some days you eat broccoli and other days you eat squash…variety gives your body the “movement nutrition” it needs to thrive.

Despite the dogma that you need to run 6-plus miles everyday; or workout 3-6 hours everyday; or perform the same leg training routine on Mondays and upper body routine on Wednesdays; or that CrossFit WODs are the only way to get a good workout in; or that lifting heavy things isn’t good for your body because it will make you bulky…

Stop over thinking it.

Start loving your body through movement of all sorts—walks, runs, classes, camps, spins, swims, jumping up and down, hikes, stretches, and everything in between.

Instead of exercising…try movement.

Take a step back from the grind or inner-critic yelling at you like a bootcamp instructor to whip your butt in gear and do what makes you come to life.  

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