1. It’s a productive way to spend all that free time
All those hours spent stood in the cold watching your ex play football/tedious lunches with their friends? They’re yours now. One of the most common excuses for not doing exercise is having no time, so now’s the perfect opportunity to get started.
2. It won’t make you feel guilty
Films and TV shows might suggest that eating a whole tub of ice cream, buying loads of stuff and getting horrendously drunk are they way to get over a broken heart.
While they’re pretty tempting methods of quick gratification, they’ll only leave you skint and hungover. Exercise, being healthy and (sometimes) free, will leave you feeling unexpectedly smug instead.
3. It gets you away from your phone/computer/any other stalking device
Anyone who claims they have the self-control not to track their ex on social media is a liar! If you feel yourself slipping into a stalk-spiral, take yourself out for a run, bike ride or similar, where you can find something else to think about – or at least make it harder to continue scrolling.
4. It can make your brain feel better
Studies have shown that rejection stimulates areas in the brain associated with physical pain. The chemicals released from moderate exercise could do a lot to improve your brain environment as working out can reduce harmful effects from stress, and affects dopamine and seratonin levels to improve your mood.
5. You’ll look awesome if you unexpectedly bump into your ex
Well, maybe not right after you’ve been working out… But in any other situation, it can’t hurt to have that confidence boost of being fitter, stronger and healthier than when you last saw each other.
6. It’ll help you regain a sense of control
If the relationship ending wasn’t your decision, things can start to feel overwhelming. But exercise is just about you, and it’s something you alone can control – so enjoy it and take solace in that.
7. It can help expend anger and aggression
You may have strong urges to introduce your ex’s windscreen to a hammer, but save that energy for the gym. Great anger-abating exercises are hitting punch bags and medicine ball slams where maximum levels of aggression are encouraged. Being high intensity, you’ll burn loads of calories, and be less likely to get arrested.
8. It can help you sleep
Recovering from a break-up can make it hard to turn your brain off at night. Studies show a link between regular exercise and improved sleep quality – just make sure you’re not working out too late in the evening if you want to nod off.
9. Setting and reaching new goals will give you a sense of achievement
So often when a relationship ends, people are left with a bruised ego and a feeling of failure. If you set yourself some achievable goals – be it completing a 5k or finally getting the guts to no longer hide at the back of spin class – you’ll feel like a total winner when you reach them.
10. It’s a way to meet new people and make friends
Conquer heartbreak by surrounding yourself with friends – be they old or new. Joining a new sports club, run club or even gym class, is a great opportunity to meet people with a shared interest. And as for the friends you already have, getting them involved presents new bonding experiences.
11. It gives you an opportunity to think things through
Exercise can be a form of escapism, but quieter pursuits can also give you the space to process your thoughts. Running, swimming and yoga all provide quiet, solitary time where you can make plans, and systematically sort through problems – all with the help of rose-tinted workout-induced endorphins.
12. You need to look after yourself right now
Keeping fit and healthy is great, but make sure you’re not using exercise as a way to punish yourself. It’s about looking after yourself and aiding the healing process. It should be fun!
Go to yoga to be calm, stretch your muscles and take a moment to be thankful; run or cycle through the prettiest routes you know; jump around in the gym class that plays the music you love. Make it all a treat, and you’ll soon forget the ex. You were too good for them anyway!