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When Skipping a Workout is OK

Can just the thought of skipping a workout can make you twinge with guilt?  You’re not alone.  When hitting the gym regularly, it’s true that missing a workout can make almost anyone feel guilty, lazy or even depressed.  Pushing through a day when you lack motivation is hard, and completing a workout you didn’t want to do can give you an amazing sense of accomplishment.  Even if you’re training for a race or really, really close to reaching that next fitness goal, there are times when skipping a workout is just fine.  In fact, skipping a workout, or three, might actually do you some good.

Injury.  You’re hurt.  Working through an injury can be OK, but often the increased recovery time or risk of re-injury isn’t worth it.  Missing workouts shouldn’t be your first concern when skipping a workoutyou’re hurt, recovering and giving your body the time to properly heal is what you really need to be worried about.  Being hurt can give you a chance to try something new, too.  If your knee is the problem, try yoga or swimming, for example.  Follow the advice in this article and see a doctor to know if it’s time to head back to the gym.

Sickness.  When you’re sick, your body is under the stress of trying to fight whatever it you have.  Putting even more stress on a sick body can prevent you from getting better and make you feel even worse.  There’s also the risk that whatever has you feeling cruddy is contagious, and nobody wants to share being sick.  Check out these tips for deciding if you’re good to go or should no-show when you’re feeling under the weather.

skipping a workoutNo sleep.  Not getting enough sleep isn’t good for your body or your mind, here are a few reasons why.  When you a little short on sleep, a good session can give you a solid, healthy energy boost, but If you’re exhausted, your workout will suffer and hurt, rather than help, you.  Determine exactly how tired you are, and decide if your time would be better spent taking a nap.

Overtraining.  Training too much can be detrimental to your efforts.  Exercising at a frequency and intensity that exceeds your body’s ability to recover will lead to injury, a lack of progress and even backwards movement.  Take rest days seriously, especially if you just gave your all in a race or event.  Taking a break from your normal workout routine is incredibly important.  Your body needs a few days off to recover, repair the muscles that were just worked to their max and get ready to go again.

You’re too busy.  Working out takes time and with the busy schedule on everyone’s plate these days, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  Taking valuable free time and spending it on the treadmill, away from family and friends, isn’t always the answer.  There are tons of ways to put little bursts of exercise into your day, taking the stairs, doing push-ups while you’re on hold, and that means saving a hour or two for the gym isn’t an absolute necessity.