3 Sports Women Can Practice While Going Through a Divorce to Relieve Stress and Frustration

by Mike Jones

Despite your best efforts, you signed the papers and found yourself on the other side of that nasty word; divorce. Regardless of how you got here, one thing is true of all women. It’s time to move on, and sports can play a big role in that process. Whether you’re a couch potato or have a gym membership, picking up a hobby that gets you moving can bring on the healing. Below are three sports you might find relief in.

1.     Kickboxing

Maybe you’re angry. Maybe you’re so mad you could just hit someone. You can totally do that! However, if you want to avoid a felony assault charge, better enroll in your local kickboxing class. Kickboxing is the perfect way to burn off the calories and let off steam. If you’re looking to get that revenge body, this is the way to go. It’s possible to burn about 700 calories in one hour. At that rate, you’ll burn that comfort cheesecake off those hips in two classes.

After a divorce, you may feel drained, self-conscious, like a failure and many other myriad emotions. Taking on a sport like kickboxing will build your strength and flexibility and drag your confidence out of the gutter to be worn with a smile again. Just knowing you could hold your own is a pretty good independent feeling.

Kickboxing is also a great training ground for self-defense. If you’re coming out of an abusive relationship or just want to keep those creeps from hitting on you now that you’re single, this sport is helpful in building combat skills. You may not be Jackie Chan, but you’ll learn enough to buy yourself some time and give yourself a “fighting” chance (pardon the pun.) You will come out of the sport with a killer bod and sky-high self-esteem, ready to put your past behind you and arm wrestle the next cute guy you meet at the bar.

2.     Tennis

You see those moms dropping their kids off at school in the morning. They’re wearing those cute little tennis skirts and visors, and you think, they can’t ALL be taking tennis lessons. Maybe they know something you don’t. Perhaps it’s time to try tennis lessons.

This is a great way to meet new friends and improve your social skills. Unfortunately, in divorce situations, one person gets to keep “the friends” while the other is left to face the social jungle alone. A team sport such as tennis can organically introduce you to a new circle of friends who share a common interest.

Sign up for lessons, and you may get that beach-body-tan tennis instructor who stands behind you and shows you, “just one more time,” how to spin your serve or improve your backhand. This sport also requires concentration and stamina to improve your body and your mood. Dr. Michael Otto is a psychology professor at Boston University, and he says that if you exercise moderately for even 5 minutes, you get a mood enhancement effect. No more wine. Say hello to cardio!

Not to mention the cute short skirts you get to wear to feel girly and flirty! Also, you’re holding a racket, and you’re hitting balls. Hard. Lots of them. That’s got to relieve some tension, right? Be sure to wink at the hottie checking you out from the next court because you can. Because you’re single now, girl!

3.     Yoga

While not technically a sport, it is the most calming activity you can do other than taking a Xanax. When going through a divorce, your mind is in a million different places at once, and your stress level is through the roof. All that stress can culminate in many health ailments from headache and fatigue to anxiety and depression. In fact, consistent yoga practice can make you happier. Richard Davidson, PhD., at the University of Wisconsin, found that the brain showed heightened activity in the left prefrontal cortex. These findings show a correlation with “greater levels of happiness and better immune function.”

Yoga also has a calming effect and practicing certain poses releases tension in different ways. “Yoga helps us slow down for a minute and tune into the breath,” says Dr. Terri Kennedy, President of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. and a registered yoga teacher. She says yoga allows you to decompress which is what your body needs so it can lower the cortisol levels (stress hormone) in your body.

Practicing yoga on a regular basis not only has calming and centering effects on your mind and body, but it also builds strength. When was the last time you held a head stand for two minutes? That is not easy. Speaking of revenge body, have you seen Jennifer Aniston’s arms? She credits yoga for her chiseled biceps. A rocking body and peaceful soul? I’ll have what she’s having.

If you find yourself on the other end of divorce angry, stressed and depressed, there is something you can do about it. Take back control and get moving! You can try one of these sports or simply put on some running shoes and hit the pavement. It doesn’t really matter as long as you take control and take back your life. Don’t wallow in cheesecake, get out of the house and remind yourself of the beautiful, strong, capable woman you are.

Mike Jones is a blogger at Defend Your Healthcare. His articles focus on fitness equipment reviews and weight loss tips.