Being in a long-distance relationship is like having a huge crack in your heart all the time. The feeling of missing someone never really goes away. It’s there to remind you of the distance day and night. Sometimes yearning gets even so intense that all you want to do is cry and drown in your little puddle of tears. Cry if you need to, but then dry your tears, and lace up your sneakers. We’re going for a run!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the perfect great time to renew your commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle while getting the emotional health benefits regular activity.

I used to hate sports — any sports. Thanks to school physical education, I had decided somewhere deep in my mind that working out would never be a match for me. I literally celebrated when I had my last PE class. It was the happiest day of my life (well, close to!).

But something has happened along the years. I’m obsessed with running. I like weight training and Pilates workouts, too. I certainly don’t say no to a session on my yoga, either. I’ve never set a foot on in gym. I’ve done all this from the comfort of my own home. And guess what? Working out is my go-to remedy for the extreme feelings of yearning these days.

My boyfriend and I are busy creatures nowadays. We don’t get to Skype very much every single week. It leaves a lot of hours to be filled with something. Boredom can prompt the feeling of emptiness, and I often find myself on the brink of a breakdown. There is nothing wrong with breaking down, and I highly encourage everyone to be in touch with their feelings. Understanding yourself is a really valuable life skill! But I feel like that doesn’t fully do the trick for me. I need something physical to let all the stress and yearning out of my body.

Since starting my fit journey, it’s become so much more to me than just about appearances. I don’t very much like to talk to someone about my feelings (unless it really concerns them, of course). I’m more aligned to think about them in my own head or turn them into written words. Working out is another way for me to stay in touch with myself. And really, the fit lifestyle comes with so many more positive things than just a good-looking body (any body is good-looking body!).

Exercising has been shown to reduce stress, which is everybody’s least favorite friend; boost happiness by releasing endorphins, the “happy hormones;” and also even alleviate anxiety. These are just a few of the many reasons why I think everyone, whether they’re in a long-distance relationship or not, should introduce some sort of exercise into their weekly routine. Think about all those awesome benefits!

My long-distance boyfriend is extremely supportive of my fitness journey. He is the one who encourages me to get out of bed and go running or hit my mat for a workout. The studies have also shown that couples are huge motivators to each other when it comes to exercise. Maybe you could challenge your partner to work out with you? That increases the feeling that you are in something together instead of alone while keeping you healthy and also fighting stress that yearning causes. It’s also a fun way of staying connected when you’re separated. Jade and I often do Fitbit challenges where we try to beat each other in steps!

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I’ve found it difficult to stay on track with my workouts when I’ve traveled to meet my partner. I live in Finland where it’s bitter cold. Jade lives in California. It’s so hot in there during summertime (which is the only time I’ve been fortunate enough to travel there) that I struggle with walking from the bedroom to the fridge! I am not comfortable going for runs on my own there, but we’ve turned working out into dates instead. Jade and I really like hiking, exploring places by foot or walking his family’s dogs. Swimming counts as exercise, too, and there is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day.

The wonderful world of Internet is also filled with different partner workouts. I am actually very excited to try some partner moves with my loved one this summer when I visit him again! Once you get past the feeling of awkwardness (trust me, I’ve been there … ), I’m sure it’s going to be a fun way of bonding, too. And afterward, you can cook a healthy meal together. It’s a win-win! What’s even better, you’re going to save some money. Going out to fancy restaurants for dinner or going to see a play can get expensive. If you’re constantly broke like me, it’s never bad to save money! Exercising together takes only both of you changing into cute workout gear and heading out the door to a park.

I highly encourage you to lace up your sneakers or roll out your yoga mats. We’re going to alleviate the pain of missing our long-distance significant others with a different kind of pain — the good kind.

Do you use exercise as a medicine to the empty feeling of missing your loved one? What’s your preferred way of exercise? Share with us!

Written by Anna
Anna is a bibliophile and soon-to-be English student originally from Finland but moving to Scotland in autumn 2016. Her movie-loving boyfriend lives in California, and they’ve been successfully dating since 2013.

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