There are many times when you don’t feel like working out; or many excuses people use to skip a workout. But when is it actually a good idea to skip your workout? And when should you actually toughen up and power through?
Even the most dedicated exercise enthusiasts will have days where the motivation to workout can be hard to find. Knowing that, it’s okay to feel like you want to skip a workout day. What isn’t okay is finding the smallest excuses to convince yourself you’re doing the right thing by not working out, so where is that line? When is it actually beneficial to skip exercising, and when should you push past that mental block and get moving?
The Stressed Out or Too Busy Excuse
A few common phrases used by people who don’t want to workout is “I’m just too busy”, or “I have a lot going on right now and can’t even think about working out”.
Not a good excuse.
It’s common to feel like there isn’t enough time in the day for a long workout, but a workout doesn’t always need to be long. Doing a 10 minute HIIT or Tabata style training session can give you many of the same health benefits as a full hour in the gym lifting weights, and is easy to fit into almost any schedule. It’s also known that exercise increases serotonin production, which can help improve mood and sleep patterns. So while not exercising due to stress or time constraints may seem like an easy excuse, exercise may actually help to fix those issues!
This excuse is completely dependent on self discipline. It’s true that a hard workout can make you sore, and risking injury is not something you want to do while working out. It’s important to determine the severity of the pain before deciding on how and when to workout next.
If you’re experiencing sore muscles from training, that shouldn’t be an excuse to skip a workout. If the muscles are tight, stretching and light movement can help improve blood flow to them. Another option would be to work an entirely different muscle group, giving the sore muscles longer to rest.
It is important to know the difference between a sore muscle and an injury. If you overworked a muscle during your last workout you may have actually injured it, at which point stretching or light workout may actually cause more damage.
If it is safe to do so (and we would recommend consulting a physician beforehand) most injuries can be worked around. If you have a lower body injury there may be upper body exercises that can be performed without stressing the injury and vice versa. It’s important to remember that you know your body best, and are the final judge, but try not to use it as an excuse to skip a workout if you don’t need to.
Tired or Hungover?
New Years is coming, a night often associated with staying up late. For some, it can also include consuming adult beverages. New Years Day is often associated with sleeping in and lounging during the day. You may not feel the greatest but a workout might be just what you need. Getting the blood flowing and working up a good sweat can help detoxify the body, and accelerate the process of feeling better.
Now if you feel lack of sleep is going to greatly hamper your performance as it may open up the possibility of injury. It’s important to remember you don’t need to attempt a record breaking workout. Listening to your body, but still going through a quick workout can be beneficial.
While mild cold symptoms may seem like something you can work through, it may not be the best idea. If you usually go to the gym, going while sick increases the likelihood you may spread your illness to others. If you do choose to workout, maybe bodyweight training from home would be the best option.
A reason to consider skipping a workout while feeling ill is it allows your body to rest and recover, hopefully preventing the illness from continuing. It is also possible that by raising your body temperature during a workout, the virus or bacteria causing you to feel ill may be able to multiply more effectively.
The most important thing to remember when deciding whether or not to skip a workout is it really is entirely up to you. So be honest with yourself and how you feel, but remember the only person you are hurting by making excuses to get around a workout when you know you can do it is yourself. Be smart, be consistent, and do your best.