Managing grief after a loved one has died can be difficult, but there are plenty of healthy coping mechanisms you can use to help navigate through your grieving process. 

Over a series of blogs titled ‘How to cope with Grief’, we will be exploring a range of helpful ways you can process your own experience of grief and look after yourself during this period.

In this blog, we will explore the benefits of fitness and exercise for mental health and the grieving process.

Fitness promotes physical and mental well-being

Research has demonstrated that consistent physical activity and exercise can have beneficial effects on both the psychological and physical aspects of grieving.

According to the NHS, regular physical activity reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 40%, and all-cause mortality by 30%. But what has this got to do with coping with grief?

Well, when grieving, symptoms of depression and anxiety are common emotional responses. Poor mental well-being can lower the immune system and result in stress responses in the body such as frequent illness or drastic changes in weight.

When you exercise, more oxygen is released into your bloodstream, which can help to maintain a normal and healthy brain function, reduce feelings of fatigue, and boost energy levels.

A healthy body and brain will equip you with the right tools to better manage and process your emotions and keep a level head through what can be a very overwhelming time.

fitness and grief

Fitness encourages socialisation

Participating in physical activities, such as team sports, group fitness classes, or even going for a walk or run with a friend or family member, can provide an opportunity for social interaction and connection. This can be especially important for easing feelings of isolation as a result of grief. 

Joining a fitness class or club can provide an opportunity to meet others who share similar interests and fitness goals. This can be a great chance to form new friendships and feel a sense of purpose and community. 

Fitness can also be a shared activity among family members or close friends. Participating in physical activity together can provide a shared experience and a way to support one another through difficult times. This can be particularly important for individuals who may be struggling to communicate their feelings or who feel disconnected from their loved ones as a result of their grief.

grief and socialisation fitness

Fitness can provide a sense of purpose

Grief can be a very difficult experience, and it can often leave you feeling lost, hopeless, and without a sense of purpose. Engaging in fitness activities, such as exercise or sports, can provide you with a sense of purpose, giving you a focus and a goal to work towards. 

Fitness activities can be a way to channel the emotions and energy associated with grief into something more productive and positive, offering a welcome distraction. Regular exercise can also provide a sense of control at a time when everything else may feel out of control.

bereavement fitness classes

Need further advice on coping with grief or want to know more about direct cremations?

Whether it’s a short walk, a run, swimming, or a class, exercise is a great way to cope with bereavement. We hope this article has helped you with ways to cope with your grief, but if you need any further advice on this topic, or are looking to arrange a direct cremationget in touch with our expert team today. We’re available whenever you need us and more than happy to help.

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