1. It teaches you to fight through the moments where you feel like dying.
If you’re going to take up a post-breakup exercise regime, make sure it’s something intense. Preferably something that makes you feel, on a regular basis, as though you’re about to die (I recommend running or lifting weights).
This is very important because it’s practice for the first time you see your ex walking down the street hand-in-hand with someone new. You are, at that point in time, going to feel like dying. But fear not! You took up running months ago. You’re well acquainted with the feeling of wanting to die and you’re also well versed in pushing through it. Exercise builds resilience – both physically and emotionally.
2. The last thing your ex wants is for you to get HOTTER.
No matter how well the relationships ends, there are two basic things we all hope for our exes:
(1) That we find someone new before they do and
(2) That they get a bit fat.
Our greatest fears pertaining to our exes are the opposite of these two things. Which means that the leaner and meaner you get after the breakup, the more you’re fulfilling your ex’s greatest nightmare. Even if you ended on good terms, that reality isn’t tough to swallow.
3. Exercise gives you something productive to do.
Wallowing in your pajamas watching re-runs of “Sex and the City” doesn’t count. Carrie Bradshaw was a lying bitch whose only accomplishment in life was successfully shoplifting a massive collection of uncomfortable footwear. You don’t want to end up like her.
Exercise gives you a hobby that not only trains and tones you but also fills up your days with meaningful activity. Spare time is the fuel that heartache feeds on to grow into a huge, all-consuming monster that will swallow you whole while you are tearing up over Miranda’s cruel castoff of Steve. Just skip the unnecessary wallowing. Go do something with your time that you definitely will not regret.
4. Exercise rearranges your priorities.
Before, what you wanted was to fall back in love and be happy. Now all you want is a cold shower, a protein shake and to sit the fuck down. The good news is that your new goals are attainable. Eternal bliss in the arms of a loved one is hard to come by. Showers, shakes and chairs are pretty much everywhere.
5. It forces you to take care of yourself.
We occasionally forget things after a breakup – like the fact that we have to eat, sleep and shower on a regular basis. Heartache’s main time to shine is around 3am when you’re the last person left awake because tearfully going through old photos seemed like a fun thing to do around midnight.
None of that behaviour is an option when you’re on a strict exercise regime. Just TRY to do your morning run on an empty stomach and four hours of sleep. You’ll laugh yourself straight back to bed. Exercise forces us to pay close attention to our physical needs – which is important for our overall sense of wellbeing.
6. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.
And happy people don’t backslide into a Friends-With-Benefits relationship with their ex that makes them feel increasingly desperate and heartbroken with every passing day. They just don’t.
7. It makes change tangible.
The first time you got dumped, you couldn’t take the pain. Just like the first time you walked into a weight room, you couldn’t lift the heaviest thing on the shelf.
But you learned. With practice, patience and endurance you build yourself up – into a version of yourself who could handle a lot more than you were originally able to. And once those changes begin to manifest physically, you start to notice their corresponding emotional impact.
In the words of Jillian Michaels, “Once you see how strong you are physically, it transcends into all other facets of your life.”