March 27th, 2020

// How to Exercise When You Have an Eating Disorder

How to Exercise When You Have an Eating Disorder

Trying to overcome an eating disorder can be one of the toughest things that you’ve ever done in your life. While you may be shying away from physical activity, it’s definitely something that you should be investing in during your recovery. Let’s take a look at some of the basics of why exercise is an essential part of your recovery and how you can perform it successfully.

Realize Exercise Effects All Realms of Health

When it comes to your health, there are many areas to focus on. Some of these include mental, emotional, and physical health. Exercise works to enhance all these realms of health during your recovery period. The trick is finding a proper balance between using exercise as a healing aid and overutilizing it and hindering your recovery.

Eliminate Old Beliefs

Many people who have dealt with an eating disorder have created some false beliefs between exercise and weight control. The truth is that while exercise can be utilized to help control weight, it provides so much more. It’s essential to create mental peace. Don’t attribute burning calories to exercise. Rather, consider exercise one of many treatment options for eating disorders.

Look into inpatient programs as well to help you overcome these old beliefs and habits.

Listen to Your Body

Your body is very adept at alerting you of when there’s an issue. The tricky part is actually listening to what your body is telling you. If your body is telling you that it’s tired after 20 minutes of yoga, then stop. Don’t push your body beyond its limit for the sake of getting exercise in. You may find that you need to start your exercise intensity with a slow walk. Then, increase the duration over time. At the beginning, you may not be able to tell when you need to push yourself or rest, so take it slow.

Bring Curiosity to Your Exercise

If you used to spend hours running on the treadmill so you could burn the exact amount of calories you ate, then tracking your exercise is not a great idea. Instead, bring some curiosity to your exercise. Try starting a different type of exercise routine. Yoga is a great form of exercise that can allow you to focus on mastering poses instead of constantly tracking the calories that you burn.

Having an eating disorder can change the way you live your entire life. Overcoming that eating disorder all starts with utilizing exercise as a necessary recovery tool. The above are four great tips that you can implement to turn exercise into a healthy way to overcome your disorder instead of looking at it as a necessity for weight control.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan


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