Exercise and body positivity can make for confusing bedfellows. On one hand, working out helps you get in closer touch with your body, makes you feel stronger, and helps you appreciate what you can do — all good things!
On the other hand, group-fitness instructors too often preach the "long and lean" gospel, magazines tell you how exercise can give you a "beach body," and your friends talk about how they need to hit the gym tomorrow to make up for the pizza you're sharing tonight. Not to mention the proliferation of , which makes it even harder to separate working out from trying to achieve a nearly unattainable body type.
But let me tell you: It is possible — and fantastic — to make your fitness routine body-positive. (In fact, we've talked right here at R29 about rational fitness and how to work it into your life.) As the creator of the body-positive workout DVD Bettie Page Fitness: Total Body Strength & Cardio, I'm always encouraging exercisers to think like Page (who, though you may not know it, was an old-school body-positivity icon!): She loved to move her glorious body in lots of different ways and didn't give a lick about a bit of cellulite here or a belly bulge there. I rounded up some of my favorite body-positive fitness tips, along with input from a few experts I love. The overall theme: Fitness should make you feel good.