What Is Joyful Movement?

We often associate exercise with intensity, physical pain and pushing ourselves to the limit. But it doesn't have to be this way, according to a new practice that's on the rise.

You may have seen the term "joyful movement" recently trending on social media. But this isn't a typical fitness trend you may be seeing in the new year, like the 75 Hard Challenge or the 12-3-30 workout.

Read on to find out more about what joyful movement is and how you can incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle that works for you.

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a collage of people exercising and moving in various ways such as dancing, riding a bike, walking a dog, stretching, and more
a collage of people exercising and moving in various ways such as dancing, riding a bike, walking a dog, stretching, and more

Design elements: Getty Images and Blue Bird/Pexels. Collage: Cassie Basford.

What Is Joyful Movement?

Simply put, joyful movement is the idea that you should enjoy your exercise. There may be some days where you crave a sweat-inducing, heart-pumping workout, but there are other days where you may want a more relaxed way to move your body.

An inclusive practice, joyful movement is a realistic fitness ideology for all body types. While many fitness trends may be tedious and have strict rules, it's up to you as to how you want to practice joyful movement. So whether that's a hike with friends, engaging in active hobbies or doing an at-home workout while watching your favorite show, there are several ways to move your body besides a typical jog or trip to the gym.

Related: 3 Things I'm Buying Myself to Make Exercise More Enjoyable

Whispers of joyful movement have popped up here and there over the past year, but the idea recently started gaining momentum on social media.

"Yes, you can actually just wear your sweatpants and your slippers while watching a documentary and it's still good movement for your body!" TikTok user Abby Benson wrote in the caption of her viral video, where she's holding weights and swiveling on a fit board.

Benson placed text on the video that says she realized she didn't have to "torture her body in order to move it," and the comments were full of support. One commenter writes, "It's not a dream body if it's a nightmare to maintain" and another, fittingly, declares that "Joyful movement is so 2023."

The Bottom Line

Finding a fitness routine that works for you is the key to keeping your body moving on a daily basis. The practice of joyful movement encourages you to move your body in the way that actually feels good for you, because there are many ways to have a healthy fitness routine.

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