Divorce related stress affects each person differently. Weight gain, weight loss, insomnia, anxiety, lethargy, just to list a few. One of the most obvious is gaining physical weight. This happens for a number of reasons, according to Scott Rudolph, a financial mediator at Alpha Center for Divorce and a CPA.
“People going through divorce are generally not as physically active and this coupled with feeling emotionally demotivated can lead to less healthy choices,” said Scott. “The prolonged stress and inactivity raises the hormone cortisol affecting blood pressure, blood glucose and increasing abdominal fat, all working against your health.
Scott, who went through his own divorce a few years ago, found himself 45 lbs. heavier at the end of the process. Deciding to focus on getting healthier, he started just walking. “It was less about burning calories and more about finding a way to de-stress. Walking releases endorphins, our body’s natural “feel good” chemicals and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.” Walking in a local nature center, aptly named Peace Valley, Scott said he found himself rediscovering his enjoyment of nature and feeling a sense of gratitude. And after walking 45 minutes per day – about 3 miles – he began feeling better and losing weight.
Realizing the power of the mind/body connection motivated him to continue and later add other types of exercise, including weight training. He recommends just getting up and moving – just a simple walk to start. Then find what kind of exercise works for you, find a buddy and keep each other accountable. “All this effort,” he says, “has a cascading effect mentally, emotionally and physically. It puts you in a win-win situation as you move forward with your life.”
Mr. Rudolph is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania, specializing in providing tax planning and preparation services for divorcing couples, small business owners and individuals and a financial mediator at Alpha Center.