A workout that makes you cry can serve as a healthy way to unload stress, process deep emotions, and emerge more balanced and self-aware.
Embrace Your Own Style of Expression
If you’re someone who’s yet to dissolve into a puddle of tears during or after a workout, that doesn’t necessarily mean they haven’t been cathartic. “I am a believer in not holding things in—I don’t necessarily that means crying or yelling out, though,” says Lynda Salerno Gehrman, co-founder of Physio Logic Pilates and Movement in Brooklyn. “Everyone releases differently.”
A lifelong dancer and veteran Pilates teacher, Gehrman herself “processes life through movement,” while others may let out a barrage of expletives or, yes, even cry. “Sometimes people just need to process their emotions and thoughts. This is as valuable to those as actually crying is to others.”
The important thing is to not to ignore your emotions, advises her husband Rudy Gehrman, D.C., clinic director at Physio Logic.
“You’re getting chased by the tiger all day long,” he says. “You don’t have time to think about [your emotional health], you’re just surviving. Then you go to an exercise class or you get manual therapy—a massage or acupuncture—and it all comes flying out. Next thing you know, you’re crying. If you do feel like crying, let it out. If you get to a point that your body is telling you to release those emotions, you’re doing damage to yourself—ulcers, neck pain, you name it—if you don’t.”