Exercising may be the last thing on your mind after a divorce.
Things are chaotic, you’re still trying to sort out your new life, and going to the gym isn’t even on your to-do list.
But setting and accomplishing fitness goals after divorce can help you in many ways.
Setting and Accomplishing Fitness Goals After Divorce
You may have plenty of excuses for avoiding exercise, from being too busy to being emotionally exhausted, but by setting goals and giving yourself a timeline, you can keep yourself motivated. With exercise benefits like increased energy and reduced stress, setting fitness goals after divorce might be the ideal strategy to help yourself through the initial stages.
Why Fitness Goals Matter After a Divorce
Exercise offers many benefits during and after a divorce or separation. The endorphins released during an exercise session can help fight depression, stabilize your mood, and leave you feeling better. Exercise can reduce stress and makes you healthier, which can also have positive impacts on your self-esteem.
Other benefits of exercise after a divorce include increased social interaction. Going to the gym or meeting up with a group of friends for a run can help you maintain friendships and develop new relationships. It’s common to feel a bit isolated after a divorce, but exercising can help to combat that issue.
By setting fitness goals after divorce, you’re giving yourself something concrete to work towards and accomplish. You’re also establishing control over your behavior and your body. When you meet those goals, it can be an empowering event, leaving you feeling accomplished and victorious.
Your goals don’t have to be huge — in fact, don’t make them so large that they’re overwhelming or insurmountable. Instead, set yourself up for success by choosing goals that are achievable. Maybe you want to be able to run a mile in eight minutes, or want to exercise for at least 30 minutes four days each week. Set goals that are meaningful and then work to achieve them.
Finding Workout Time On the Go
If you have a busy schedule, finding workout time may be the first challenge in meeting your fitness goals. Try to build time for exercising into your schedule, accounting for your own natural habits. If you’re not a morning person, deciding that you’ll wake up at 5 am to exercise daily is going to make it much harder to stick to your goals than if you schedule your exercise in at 6 pm after you get home from work.
Remember that you can break exercise sessions up, too. Fifteen minutes of exercise a few times a day is better than waiting for that one day a week where you have a straight hour to exercise.
You may need to get creative with the types of exercise that you do. For instance, women who are pregnant can adjust their exercise routines to focus on exercises that are safe at every stage of pregnancy. If you spend a large part of your day in the office, you may want to start doing exercises at your desk during the day to help stay active and work toward those fitness goals.
Even if you’re on the road, there are still ways to make time to exercise. When living on the road, look for franchised gyms that offer national memberships. Seek out gyms that have long hours, like Anytime Fitness, which is open 24 hours a day. Many hotels also offer their guests free access to workout rooms and pools.
Getting Yourself Motivated
As exercise becomes part of your routine, you’ll start to look forward to those regular fitness sessions, but getting yourself motivated initially can be difficult. Consider enlisting the help of an accountability partner, such as a friend or family member, who will either exercise right along with you or who will give you a friendly call or text to see if you’ve met your fitness goals for the day.
Knowing that you’ll have to check in with your partner can help to motivate you to get active.
Your post-workout recovery methods can also contribute to your motivation. If you’re sore and hurting after a workout, you won’t be too eager to work out again in the near future. Caring for your body after a workout can minimize this pain. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate after a workout, eat potassium to replenish your energy, and use stretching and massage to help relieve sore muscles so you’re refreshed and ready for the next exercise session.
Remember Why it Matters
The time after a divorce is chaotic, stressful, and upsetting. There will be days when the last thing you want to do is work out after getting home from work or taking care of the kids. It’s during times like these, though, that you need to remember why it’s so important to accomplish your fitness goals.
The time after a divorce is when you need to focus on yourself, your health, and your wellbeing. By setting, working toward, and achieving fitness goals, you’re prioritizing yourself and taking those steps to keep yourself healthy. The first few minutes of your workout may be rough, but once you’re up and moving, you’ll feel better and more motivated because of how you pushed yourself through this tough time.