No matter why a relationship ended or who did the official ‘breaking up’ – it’s a difficult, emotional process to go through for everyone involved. Experts compare this rocky time to mourning the loss of a loved one, as you feel a similar painful void in your life. Even if you’re a super-strong go-getter (look at those burpees!), you can’t just snap yourself out of heartbreak. Why? Break-ups aren’t a DIY project, they’re personal and it’s different for everyone. Reconnecting with the parts of oneself that are no longer shared can be strange, but it can also be a period for growth and discovery.
The truth is, romantic relationships can be just as hard to get over physically as they are emotionally. Healing a broken heart takes time, and just because sometimes eating ice cream in bed is the only appropriate medicine doesn’t mean fitness can’t help, too. Exercise is scientifically proven to lower stress levels and also increase happiness. It offers long-term benefits that neither your ex nor Russell Stover could provide.
Moving on will be a little bit easier with these fitness-focused tips:
Whether mastering the steps to your favorite Beyonce song or finally successfully completing a pull-up, now’s the time to learn something new. Keeping one’s body and mind in shape post-breakup is super important. Sign up for a class, dust off those running shoes, take that boxing class you’ve been meaning to try—and push yourself to be the best you can be. Turn the impossible into your morning workout and go for some Elle Woods-style glory, because there’s nothing better than asking, “What, like it’s hard?”
Make a healthy version of your fave treat
No, fro-yo isn’t a food group (at least not yet). But there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, especially after dealing with some serious emotional upheaval. So head into the kitchen and find a healthy alternative to ice cream and add a twist to a classic fave. (Or psst: read our guides!)
Swapping out a milk base for a banana doesn’t mean the alternative isn’t an option. It just means that learning how to prepare a healthy alternative to ice cream can be more rewarding than the sugar high.
Listen to music you love
Every good breakup loves a good, sad music montage, but contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as too much Stevie Nicks. Science shows the stress hormone, cortisol, can be reduced by listening to music. And no, it doesn’t have to be sad. No matter what the genre, music (and, hey, maybe even a little late-night karaoke) is the best medicine. And what’s a great way to hear new jams if you’re in the market for recreating your life? Visiting an indoor cycling class or a bootcamp class that’s all about using music to empower and push you through any challenge.
Try something new
A post-break up adventure doesn’t have to mean a one-way ticket to Italy for a pizza tour. There are new things to try everywhere in the world—it’s just a matter of looking for them. From yoga to cryotherapy, fitness has plenty of options to test your limits and expand your horizons.
Find your mantra
Stress hormones run rampant post break-up, and calming activities like meditation can really do the trick. There are many ways to practice meditation, but the focus on remaining present, calm and mindful is important for anyone looking for a fresh start. Studies even show that within months, meditation can actually lead to increases in the regions of your brain involved in emotional regulation. This means that finding a few minutes, picking a mantra, and practicing daily can help the heart and brain regroup.