Years ago, I went through a very painful breakup. Most of us have experienced at least one heartbreak that was particularly emotionally grueling. The pain of enduring a broken heart is as unique as it is both humbling and extremely devastating. However, I believe that we never lose by loving. After working through many of my initial feelings of grief, I decided it was time to channel my energies and emotions into something else, something bigger than my pain.
Therefore, the timing was perfect when I was invited to participate in a barre class physical challenge that landed me in Fitness Magazine! This was a very big deal for me, and a challenge that made me feel particularly vulnerable. Once upon a time, I was a teenage girl who would find every excuse to get out of gym class. “Athletic” was never remotely an adjective that I would use to describe myself. Yet I was pleasantly surprised to find a love for working out, and very quickly became a fitness enthusiast.
Getting involved in taking barre classes 4 times a week at Pure Yoga-NYC was such a great form of therapy. Working out, seeing results and accomplishing something I never thought I could was healing on so many levels. Fast forward to a few years later, my broken heart has absolutely recovered. Exercise remains a big part of my life. I will always have a love for barre classes but I have also really gotten into taking classes at The Fit Co. I find the flexible class schedule, intimate gym setting and energetic-yet-patient instructors to all be a great fit for me.
Want to know some facts on how exercise can help mend your broken heart? Below find four benefits of exercise that can support your healing process. Sending you warm thoughts, and if you are going through a rough breakup please send me an email. I'm happy to set up a complimentary phone call and help you take your next steps towards brighter days.
4 Benefits of Exercise:
1. Exercise makes you happier:Studies have shown that the feelings often felt during a breakup, such as rejection and grief, will stimulate areas in the brain associated with physical pain. "Exercise is a great way to boost the brain chemicals that make you feel happy," says Daniel Amen, M.D., author of Sex on the Brain. "When we lose people we are attached to, two chemicals go awry in the brain—serotonin, the happy, feel-good chemical; and endorphins, the painkiller. The best way to feel better naturally is to exercise.”
2. Exercise will help you get out your anger: According to Nathaniel Thom, a stress physiologist, "Exercise, even a single bout of it, can have a robust prophylactic effect" against the buildup of anger. As I shared in a previous blog post, Why I'm Grateful for My Anger, so many of us have had a complicated relationship with anger. We have too often seen anger misdirected, leading to violence and/or causing relationships to be damaged beyond repair. Exercise allows us to feel our anger, and to release those feelings responsibly. I recommend medicine ball slams, kickboxing or any aerobic activity when you are feeling angry.
3. Exercise will help you set and achieve new goals:
As we know, the choice to end a relationship isn't always mutual. It can be overwhelming to cope with big upsets that are completely out of our control. But exercise is purely about you, and it is something you alone can control! Exercise can also be wonderful in helping you combat any of the feelings of failure that are often felt during heartbreak. If you set yourself some achievable goals—be it finally joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer, training for a marathon or making a commitment to attend yoga twice a week—you will feel a renewed sense of accomplishment in meeting new, achievable goals.
4. Exercise will help you make new friends: Heartbreak is easier to conquer when you aren't isolating yourself from others. A great form of therapy is to spend time with friends. It can also be helpful to surround yourself with new friends who aren't connected to your most recent ex. Gyms are wonderful places to meet new people and expand your network. Laura Kovall, owner of The Fit Co. NYC, shares how fitness and friendships go together: "No matter what life throws my way, fitness is a constant. I created The Fit Co. with this in mind. Our workouts are challenging yet encouraging and fit into your life. Our intimate group setting creates a natural environment of support and an ideal way to make new friends or strengthen bonds with those whom you already lean on for support."
I believe in the power of exercise and strongly recommend it for everyone, especially those recovering from heartbreak. Exercise forced me to pay attention to and nurture my physical needs, something we often ignore when we are feeling run-down and sad. Figuring out your own exercise routine (yoga, barre classes, jogging, kickboxing—whatever it is for you) can help you feel better and also heal those vulnerable parts of yourself from the inside out.
Can you relate to this post? If yes, please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call.
Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.