Divorce and exercise should always be used in the same sentence, as I believe that some form of working out–whether it’s weights, intense cardio, balance and core work, or even just brisk walking-helps men and women in coping with divorce and other stressful life situations. In this week’s Love Essentially, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I write about how exercise can benefit your love life, whether you are single, married, divorced, or going through a breakup.
The Ups and Downs of Working Out by Jackie Pilossoph
I don’t know many people who actually enjoy or look forward to working out. Let’s be honest. What’s pleasurable about being out of breath or feeling exhausted from heavy weightlifting or holding a plank until you feel like your arms are going to fall off? Nothing.
That said, most men and women I know find time for a fitness regime because there are countless physical and mental health benefits. But there’s something else regular exercise does that might surprise you. It benefits your love life.
I sat down with personal trainer Goran Mladenovic, a 25-year veteran in the fitness industry and owner of Glenview’s Premier Fitness Centers, to talk about how getting physical in the gym can help your heart in ways you never even thought of.
“For single people, working out can provide you with a whole new set of options for having fun together,” said Mladenovic, who offers personal and small-group fitness training at his studio, which has been in Glenview for 22 years. “You can go to the gym together, or for a bike ride or a swim, or join a running club together. It’s a nice alternative to just going out for dinner.”
Mladenovic also said people who work out are often more attractive to others, not just because of looks, but because of how they are perceived.
“Think about how a man might look at a woman who works out,” he said. “It’s sexy that she cares about her health, that she’s a hard worker, that she can persevere through challenges. Who wouldn’t be attracted to a woman like that?”
Mladenovic said working out is an activity that married couples can do together. It helps them bond and brings them closer together. Couples who exercise together also motivate each other, gain respect for one another and handle stress together in a better, more productive fashion.
“Exercise can directly improve your sex life,” Mladenovic said. “When you engage in intense physical activity, it stimulates blood flow to your body and nervous system, and that boosts your sex drive.”
Mladenovic said the more a person exercises, the healthier his or her arteries become, which directly influences sexual performance.
Additionally, men and women who work out feel more sexually desirable, have more self-esteem and self-confidence, and are therefore more likely to enjoy intimacy with their partner.
Breakups, divorce or death of a spouse
Here’s where I feel the need to weigh in (no pun intended). Having gone through some pretty bad breakups in my life, including a divorce, I can honestly say that working out saved my sanity at times and helped me handle heartbreak much better.
I remember calling my sister several years ago, hysterically crying and feeling beyond hopeless during my divorce…Click here to read the rest of the column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.