Exercise in a Post Breakup World

We’ve all been there. The end of a relationship. Whether you saw it coming or not, and whether you ended things or no, it’s still a change.

Your routine is thrown out the window. Maybe you just want to get wine drunk with your friends, or eat all the chocolate ice cream in sight. I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.

This break up I’m taking a different approach. I’ve grieved the relationship and now it’s time to pick up the pieces of my life and get moving forwards. And exercise is a huge part of that plan.

In the days leading up to the dreaded “it’s just not working out talk” I had a sense of foreboding. I could feel it in my bones that as much as I was trying to hold onto the relationship, it had become one sided. And that was devastating. I’ll admit there were a few mornings where I was curled up on the couch crying. Wondering where it had all gone so wrong.

But exercise, and specifically yoga, saved me from those thoughts. I’d roll out my mat, put on some music (or go to the park and listen to the wildlife) and just shut off my brain and free flow to how my body was feeling that day. For that hour my mind was calm, my heart was happy and I could relax.

I found repeating vinyasas (flows) really helped. It was methodical as it’s the same few poses strung together, just repeated over and over again, as you can go through each flow numerous times. I normally stick to Sun Salutation/Vinyasa A and B just because I know them off by heart, but there are many options to pick from. Another thing about the flows that really helped me during this time was the fact that while it is the same few poses over and over it does not mean that it is easy. I was sweating after a few minutes and my arms were shaking and had turned to jello from all the chaturangas (image 2). And we all know how far a little bit of sweat and endorphins can take you.

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And after the break up was official. Let’s just say there’s that phase where we all think we’re Wonder Women and are killing life without them and I just did burpees on repeat. Something I haven’t done in months, after all the burpees I did during so many rounds of Kayla Itsines BBG program.

After a breakup you might just want to go to the gym and “get hotter” to show them, or maybe you never want to workout again. But if exercise is a part of your life before things go south (and if it isn’t now is as good of time as any to start), being able to workout afterwards will both give you time to not think about what has happened, and also get yourself back into a routine. At the end of the day, it’s getting back to some sort of routine that helps the most post breakup, and exercise has so many benefits that the sooner that you can reinstate that in your life the better.

And just think. After a break up maybe you’ll jog through a new park, try out a new fitness class or change the time you go to the gym. And you never know who could catch your eye.

P.S. My breakup HIIT session was as follows if you want to give it a go:

Burpees x 10

Jump squats x 10

Boat sit ups x 10

Tricep push ups x 10

Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and see how many times you can get through the circuit without compromising form. You’ll be sweating, out of breath and body on fire by the end of it let me tell you.

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