You are here

Topics View

Punch It Out: Boxing

Boxing is an obvious choice, because, punching. But also, because "it challenges you mentally and physically, and you have to focus on your body movements at all times, there's no room for your mind to wander off into thinking about your horrid ex," says Julie "Jaws" Nelson, boxing instructor at Shadowbox. "Other great benefits include how empowered you feel during and after the workout, the 'revenge body' it will give you, and—obviously—getting to hit things."

Here's an extra pro tip from Jaws: Use your breath with each punch. If you exhale every time you punch, not only will you be able to create a lot more power, but you'll also be releasing so much pent up emotion.

Photo: Corbis Images

Distance Yourself: Running

While yoga, pole, and HIIT are usually all about the class atmosphere, running does quite the opposite. "While it seems counterintuitive, something about the solitude of running is perfect," says Joe Holder, S10 Training and NRC/NTC Coach. "You get to know yourself a bit better during these runs and have the time to work through your own mental barriers. Running is like 'dating yourself'. During a relationship people often lose themselves in the situation; running presents the opportunity to find yourself again, get in shape, and you can even imagine stomping on your ex's face (if it ended badly, that is!)."

But you don't always have to fly solo: "If you're the type that can run with a friend, use them as an outlet (if they're OK with your talking!)," he suggests. "The perfect playlist will also for sure boost your mood and is cathartic. Lastly, and I love doing this if it's a beautiful day, stop at the end of the run and find a seat to take it all in. Review not just how the run went but how you're feeling overall. A little mindfulness goes a long way!"

Photo: Corbis Images

Take Your Mind Off It: HIIT

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all about going as hard as possible. "It gives you a sense of empowerment," says Julia Avery, an instructor at HIIT studio The Fhitting Room. "Knowing that you conquered a really tough workout leaves you feeling like you can take on anything that comes your way, including your ex. And when you're in the middle of an intense workout, your mind is focused. You don't have time to feel upset about your breakup because you're completely wrapped up in the intensity of the workout. The endorphins that you're left with afterwards help you stay in a good mood long after the workout is over."

Bonus: Avery says the classes are a great way to meet like-minded people (oh, hey, hot fit guys). (If you can't make it to a HIIT class to meet hot guys, we have the perfect sub: our 30-Day Hot-Guy HIIT Challenge.)

Photo: Corbis Images

Feel Super Sexy: Pole Dancing

You know how turning on some Beyoncé can transform your blah, downer mood into insane confidence? Consider pole to be the workout equivalent.

"It's really easy to get obsessive (hello, Facebook stalking...) and drown in your own grief during a break-up," says Kelly McLaughlin, an instructor at Body & Pole. "It can be hard to be kind to yourself. Challenging your brain and body with learning something like pole doesn't leave much space to have another focus. A pole class is the perfect 'time-out' to gift yourself that leaves you feeling refreshed, accomplished and like a f*cking warrior! Who doesn't want that kind of conversation with yourself?"

Photo: Courtesy Body + Pole

Reconnect with Yourself: Yoga

Yoga is all about getting zen and finding your center—which can really help when that heart hole deep in your core is what hurts the most. Bhakti yoga, a more devotional and traditional form, is specifically good for getting over a breakup, says yoga instructor Heidi Kristoffer. Why?

First, Kristoffer says, we store emotional baggage in our hips, so a yoga practice with hip opening poses allows the release of all of that excess garbage that you don't need to (but usually try to) hold on to.

A good yoga class or teacher reminds you that you are enough: as you are, without anything or anyone else. It's a huge help to those who feel incomplete without a partner that they are complete and enough as is.

Kristoffer also says arm balances in yoga show you that you are strong enough to hold yourself up with your own two hands. You don't need anyone else!

And, of course, yoga brings you into the present moment. When you're in the here and now, you aren't dwelling on the past or anticipating the future—and that's major weight off some people's chests after a breakup!

Each of these will help on their own, but "put them all together in one class, and it is way better (and cheaper) than therapy, and a whole lot less detrimental than downing a pint of iced cream or half a dozen tequila shots!" she says. (Try this restorative yoga flow from Kristoffer herself.)

Photo: Crobis Images