While ‘never skip a workout’ should be your go-to mantra, there are moments when missing a training session is legitimate and allowed. Forcing yourself to stick to an exercise regime is not sustainable and a little unhealthy if you really were to look into how much energy you had post the workout.
Technically, you should be taking one to two days off per week to allow your body to recover. This helps your body from burning out and preventing it from injuries.
However, if you were to miss out on a day of training, here are some reasons and scenarios where you are allowed to skip the gym and morning boot camp.
- Bad Night’s Sleep: If you didn’t get a seven hour sleep the night before and are feeling sluggish, skip the morning session and take a nap instead. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine looked at women suffering from insomnia who did 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week. While exercise has been previously linked to improving sleep quality among insomniacs, the researchers found that insufficient sleep influenced the participants’ next-day exercise — instead of the other way around. After a poor night’s slumber, the women tended to shorten their workouts.
If you train when you’re really exhausted, you’re not going to have a great workout. And, you’re increasing your risk of injury by pushing too hard when your mind and body aren’t completely focused on what you’re doing, explains McCall. Rest is essential to any exercise program, so if you’re totally wiped out, enjoying an extra day of recovery is better.
- With The Sniffles: If you’ve got the sniffles, it’s OK to give the morning run a miss. Give your body some time to heal, as the stress you put on it would just hinder you from future workouts. Analyse your symptoms and see if they’re limited to one region of your body only – if your entire body hurts and you have the sniffles, get back to bed and pop some drugs plus chicken soup.
Choosing to skip a workout because of a headache, however, is completely personal.
- Because You’re Stressed: While working out is the biggest stress-buster known to man, there are times when going to the gym, under maximum stress, can be worse for your mental health. Exercising is stressful on the body – and if you’re extremely busy, then cut back on your training and find ways to ease your training regime. Opt for moderate walks around the block or a yoga class that will ease your mind.
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that chronic stress affects your body’s ability to recover after exercise. The most stressed participants experienced more fatigue and soreness after a tough training session.
- When You’re Injured: If you’re a little sore, then exercising the next day is OK. But if your body is extremely sore or you’re injured (big difference between soreness and injury, know it!) then keep away from exercising completely. Having an injury is stressful for the body, so when you go ahead for that cross training session, you’ll only make it worse.
Each injury is different, and it’s highly important to listen to your physician about what you can and can’t do while recovering. Allowing your body to rest is necessary to its natural healing process. While you may not be able to keep up with a particular sport (for example, running with a knee injury), you can use this as an opportunity to explore different activities that don’t place the same stress on your body.
- When It’s Your Partner’s Birthday: Missing a birthday dinner for a Pump class is not OK in any rulebook of health and fitness. Laughing and enjoying yourself is just as healthy for your mind as a tough sweat session. However, if you really need to fit into that va-va-voom LBD for the night, sneak in an early morning workout or a power session in the living room, pre dinner. Burn that slice of birthday cake tomorrow!
What is your number one reason to skip a workout?