Friday, August 13, 2021

When You Should Skip Exercising.


We all know how important it is to exercise a certain number of minutes each week to stay healthy. Some days we feel lazy or off and just don't want to exercise but we still do because we feel guilty otherwise.  In addition, we get in the habit of working out every single day and if we try to skip a day, the guilt comes out. 

There are certain situations in which you do not want to workout.  First of all, it is important not to exercise every single day otherwise your body does not have time to recover. The day off gives your body time to heal from the stress placed on joints, relieve muscles, prevents fatigue, cuts back on burnout, and can help break through plateaus. In addition, when you take a day off, it gives you a mental break and boost your moral. 

If you are feeling really stressed due to being over scheduled in your daily life, too many family commitments, the pandemic, wondering if your budget will stretch far enough, or your job is demanding too much, you might want to skip exercising a day here or there.  Although exercise is supposed to be a great stress reliever, exercising can stress the body even more for some people, especially if you are trying to squeeze in some time at the gym.  On the other hand, if exercise does help you get rid of stress, go ahead and enjoy it but you might think about swapping out the more intense workouts for less demanding ones such as yoga, jogging, or walking.

It is well known that many people do not get enough sleep throughout the week.  Unfortunately, being sleep deprived means your body may not be performing at it's peak and rather than working out, perhaps you should spend more time sleeping at night. Furthermore, if you exercise while sleep deprived, you increase your chances of injury. So instead of staying up late, go to bed a bit earlier and enjoy a full night of sleep.

Another situation is when you are feeling under the weather but how do you determine when you can safely work out. If you are experiencing pain above the neck, it's usually fine to workout but if you are running a fever, skip the workout because you are not at your optimum and you face the possibility of increased dehydration. If you do workout, you might look at a less intense workout so it's not as demanding on the body.  On the other hand, if the pain is below the neck, skip the workout so your body has a chance of getting better.  If you have a cold or the flu, consider skipping your workout because both the flu and colds are contagious and you do not want to infect others.

Now, if you choose a nice intense workout and the next day you are sore, consider skipping your workout otherwise, you can harm your body. If you go ahead and exercise, your body may require longer to recover, your body may produce less of the hormone the body uses to repair itself, or cause additional injury. 

Finally, if you complete a long race or participate in a strenuous athletic activity, you might consider skipping a workout.  The rule is that the more stress you've put on yourself during the race or strenuous activity, the longer you should take to recover.  You'll need multiple days to recover so you can get enough sleep, rehydrate the body but if you want to use active recovery during this period, you can walk, swim, or perform a gentle jog because they allow your muscles to heal.

There are circumstances when it's better to just skip the workout otherwise, you might end up damaging yourself so you can't workout for a long period of time. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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