Divorce is a very traumatic experience that can affect a person emotionally, mentally, and physically. Since separation and divorce touch every part of your life, you need to battle it with an activity that encourages healing on all levels – one of these activities is exercise (but be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise regimen).
There are many benefits of exercising during divorce, and improving your mental and emotional well-being is just one of them.
A Few of the Benefits of Exercise During Divorce.
Exercise Can Be a Social Activity
Separation and divorce often cause people to become closed off and even avoid social contact. Physical activity gives you the opportunity to go out and meet people. It also keeps you accountable and on the right track. If you decide to join a gym, group training, or a sports club, you can meet like-minded people and find new friends. However, if you don’t want your physical activity to be social, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a great way to get in some ‘me-time’ and recharge your batteries. Many people choose to exercise alone, think about things, and contemplate the future while at the same time doing something healthy and beneficial for both their body and mind.
Physical Activity Helps You Get Out More
Nature has a wonderful effect on the body. Spending time in the sun, breathing fresh air, and enjoying the greenery allows your mind and body to relax and unwind. So, if you have a chance, choose to exercise outdoors. You can stroll, hike, jog or mountain bike while enjoying your surroundings. You can even consider picking up the Japanese practice of forest bathing, which allows you to interact with a forest in a healing and meaningful way, and is proven to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost the immune system.
Make sure to be mindful and enjoy the sky, air, flowers, and animals. Many people feel like everything is falling apart around them during the divorce period, so make sure to stop and enjoy the little things. It will remind you that you’re alive, that life is beautiful, and that life does go on.
Working Out Releases Endorphins
Ever heard of the runner’s high? Sometimes, exercise triggers a rush of “happy” chemicals called endorphins that will certainly come in handy when you’re going through tough times. Endorphins your body produces during physical activity can stabilize your mood, help battle depression, and make you feel better overall. You don’t need to run a marathon to benefit from the runner’s high. So grab some good running gear, get out, and run! Just be sure to have the right kind of shoes and socks.
Choosing the right socks for running, increases comfort and reduces the possibility of blisters and chafing. This will also provide your feet with optimal running temperature, giving you the opportunity to chase your highs every day, no matter the weather! Combine your socks with some quality, well-fitting shoes and you’ll keep your feet in tip-top shape for many, many years.
Exercise Helps Reduce Stress
One of the best benefits of exercising during divorce is the fact that it can significantly reduce stress. During separation or divorce, emotions run high. Things can get pretty tense – almost to the point of breaking. When you feel like exploding at your ex, your kids, or your co-workers – venting to a trusted friend or counselor is a great way to reduce stress. While a good therapist and a good friend are often enough, if you can’t find either, try hitting the gym.
Choose a gym that has a quality punching bag – you’ll feel reborn without hurting anyone! While violence is never the answer, practicing it in controlled environments like a dojo or a gym is a great way to let out some steam, release those endorphins, and reduce stress. If you don’t feel like the gym is for you, you can also choose all sorts of different activities. Find an exercise you enjoy. It can be something that you’ve always wanted to do like horseback riding or something that you used to love doing and would like to pick up again, like tennis. Choose something that you will look forward to. If your joints can no longer handle much stress, choose something simple like walking.
When you’re free of the stress that clouds your thoughts, you will instantly feel better and sleep better, think more clearly, and experience more energy and less fatigue. This is especially beneficial if your stress levels have plateaued so high that they are drawing all your energy and preventing you from concentrating.
Physical Activity Pushes You to Be Healthier
Many people notice weight fluctuations during the separation/divorce period. Whether you’re gaining or losing weight fast, it’s definitely not healthy. However, if you exercise regularly, it will help control your appetite and allow you to burn some of those built-up calories. It will also encourage you to make better food choices, ditch fast food and alcohol, and pay more attention to buying healthy groceries. A good diet will not only help you control your weight but also make you feel stronger and more focused on whatever obstacle comes your way.
Helps Rebuild Self-Esteem
If your separation or divorce shattered your confidence, physical activity is one of the best ways to rebuild it. It can help you rebuild self-esteem and return to your confident self, which is beneficial if you’re trying to stay strong for your children or even get back to dating. The rush of endorphins will make the world look a bit better – at least for a while – after your workout. And if you struggle with emotional eating after your separation or divorce (or if you suffered from it during your stressful marriage), exercise will help you shed weight and tone your muscles. And if you look better, you will often feel better!
Enjoy the Benefits of Exercising During Divorce – Get Moving Today!
No matter how low you feel right now, try to commit to exercising every day – you’re guaranteed to feel much better in no time. If you have very little experience, all you need to do to start your journey is to walk through the park or jog around the neighborhood. Don’t underestimate the countless benefits of exercising during divorce. Physical activity – in any shape or form – will be there for you to rebuild self-esteem and offer relief, clarity, and peace whenever you need it!
Ian Lewis is a father, writer, and a fitness nut. He’s passionate about many forms of strength training and spent years lifting all kinds of heavy objects. His favorite quote: There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.