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Exercise & Grief

Posted on: May 28th 
“Good grief!” is not just an expression Charlie Brown uses regularly; especially with the current state of affairs.

I have unfortunately found myself repeating that specific quotation a little more frequently. My two cats, Lucky and Spice, passed away within 5 days of each other. Lucky was thirteen years old, and Spice was eleven years old. They were companions with me throughout many of life’s adventures and will be dearly missed.

Some of us watch the news each night and see the awful realities people are facing each day. People may have lost loved ones from Covid-19, or have been terminated or furloughed from their jobs. Small business owners are shutting their doors, homes are going into foreclosure, and working parents are juggling twenty things each hour, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Exercise may not extinguish grief but it can play a valuable role in helping people adapt to loss or unexpected change. Physical activity releases brain chemicals such as endorphins, which help to relieve discomfort and boost our mood.

Although my studio doors may be shut, I have been doing live Facebook workouts, which helps our members and community to stay healthy and connected, but it also helps me with my social-emotional well being and overall physical health. I transform when I exercise, especially during times of loss and hardship. I leave each workout with mental clarity and feelings of strength and empowerment. I can take on new challenges with grace. It has been after a workout and warm shower that I have come up with my best ideas, like the 6-week Challenge we will be running as soon as our doors open.

What helps you in times of loss?

Exercise is a great escape and coping strategy.

It can turn “Good grief!” into a long sigh of relief.