While ex­er­cis­ing

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamour Self -

You’re hold­ing War­rior pose when sud­denly, tears start stream­ing. What’s up with body emo­tions? In ex­er­cise, we move in ways we don’t in nor­mal life, and those move­ments can un­lock emo­tions that we’ve been hold­ing back. “We have stress at work, and we’re not able to say what we want to our su­per­vi­sor,” says Karol Ward, a psy­chother­a­pist who spe­cialises in the body-mind con­nec­tion. “So we squish those feel­ings, tense our shoul­ders, lock our jaws, and don’t even re­alise we’re do­ing it un­til the area gets stretched out, and that re­leases the emo­tion.” There’s a bi­o­log­i­cal com­po­nent, too: ex­er­cise re­leases a rush of hor­mones and chem­i­cals, like dopamine and sero­tonin.

When Danielle Kosecki, 33, fin­ished her first Half Iron­man triathlon, “I burst into tears,” she says. Nine months ear­lier she’d said no when her boyfriend of six years pro­posed; they’d bro­ken up, and she’d be­come de­pressed and stopped ex­er­cis­ing. Sign­ing up for the race had been her mo­ti­va­tion to get healthy, men­tally and phys­i­cally. “And it worked,” she says. “When I crossed the fin­ish line, I knew that I had gone through some­thing ter­ri­ble and had come out the other side. I still get choked up look­ing at the pic­tures.”

Cry­ing dur­ing ex­er­cise? To­tally nor­mal, ex­perts say, so let it hap­pen (fit­ness in­struc­tors have seen it be­fore!). Karol says that the les­son here is: “Give your­self per­mis­sion to have the feel­ings.” Even if they bring on tears.

Nicki Mi­naj at the 2011 Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards. Halle Berry at the Os­cars in 2002.

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