We all know we're supposed to work out.
So here's the big questions... When do you NOT workout?
When to Skip a Workout
- If your workout will worsen an existing injury. Making an injury worse will only lead to more missed workouts and potentially serious related injuries.
- If you're sick ... really, really sick. Rule of Thumb Part 1: If it's not "in your head" (chills, fever, aches) skip the workout and get some sleep.
It takes a lot of energy to kill a virus or bacteria! Give your body a fighting chance by using that energy to fight off infection - not fight off a few extra calories in spin class.
- If doing the workout will leave you absolutely miserable. This one requires a gut-check. Excuses are easy, but if you're honest with yourself and the sweat sesh won't serve you? Hit it hard tomorrow.
I have driven to the gym, changed, gotten on a treadmill, then promptly gotten off and headed home for sanity reasons. My next workout was my best all week.
When to do a Lighter than Normal Workout
- If you are recovering from an injury. Check with your doctor for a thumbs up first, then chose exercises that will strengthen the supporting structure without aggravating the injury. Always ask a professional if you're not sure what to do and play it smart.
- If you're sick... sort of sick. Rule of Thumb Part 2: If it's in your head (sneezing, runny nose, headache), go light.
*Gym Etiquette Note: If you're sick - don't take your fellow fitness freaks down with you! Wipe down your equipment, cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when you cough, use hand sanitizer etc.
- If NOT doing the workout will make things worse. On those days where you are running low on time, energy etc. but just NEED a workout - get in what we call a "feel good" workout!
- When you hit diminishing returns. Over training is a very real thing...
If you notice that you have plateaued or are losing strength/endurance, you are experiencing mood or sleep issues, are getting sick more often than usual or are experiencing an abnormally high injury rate: Take 1-2 weeks of light exercise to hit the reset button. You'll come back stronger than ever!
When to Push Through
- If you just don't "feel like it" Too bad. Man up and do the workout you're supposed to.
Have a great week and remember: Take care of your body. You only get one!
Sometimes skipping a workout is more effective (not to mention safer) than pushing through something that you know is a bad idea that day. It's something that even we trainers forget sometimes.
No Bad Excuses? No Shame in Recovery!