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Exercise Your Way to Freedom After a Breakup

Exercise is a powerful thing, allowing you to renew your body and your spirit.

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Someone out there will always be more of whatever outward standard you’re priding yourself on, whether beauty, wealth, education or intelligence. At some point, you will be displaced again, only to find yourself back at the starting line. The only thing no one can ever beat you at is being more you than you. 

Rather than being a catalyst for negative gut-responses, a breakup can provide an opportunity to reconnect with yourself to become freer and healthier. Instead of enslaving yourself by attaching your self-concept to the conceptions and whims of another person, use this occasion to liberate yourself, both emotionally and physically. This takes some thought and some work, on both the spiritual side and the physical side. You are worth just as much now as you were before the latest relationship. 

Now for the physical side: What I love about exercise is the way it can bring our bodies and spirits in sync with each other. It’s wonderful when your body can express the same freedom that your newly-released spirit has.

Consider the binding effects of obesity, weakness, exhaustion, frailty, depression, stress and poor sleep. All of these tie you down and keep you from functioning at your peak. Regular exercise relieves every one of these constrictions and frees you. It reduces depression, anxiety and the effects of stress, leaving you free to focus on what you want and what you can control. It promotes sleep, leaving you more refreshed for the coming day.

QUIZ: How Stressed Are You?

Exercise helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight, freeing your body systems and joints from physical stress. Exercise builds endurance, giving you the freedom to work, perform or enjoy activities for hours, and giving you the stamina to run 5 blocks to make your appointment or catch your child’s jazz band number. It increases strength, allowing you to toss a case of waters in your shopping cart or carry your 13-year old retriever up the porch steps. It promotes mobility and flexibility, leaving you free to tie your shoes, shave your legs, straddle a pile of garbage in your garage, or, more thrillingly but not more importantly, go kayaking or rock climbing. 

As you make exercise part of your breakup recovery, appreciate it for its freeing power and do it out of self-respect. It’s part of living consistently with who you are—an individual with unlimited worth. Exercise to physically unveil your newfound emotional and spiritual freedom—to let the freedom of a healthy body reflect your inner freedom. When you achieve that consistency in body and spirit, you will feel complete, whole, and beautiful, with or without a partner with which to share the richness. 

MORE: The Beauty Benefits of Exercise

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