5 Reasons It's OK to Skip a Workout
You’ve heard how important it is to maintain a regular workout schedule. Especially after the New Year, many people have been trying harder than ever to stay consistent. We’re already a month into 2014 so be proud of yourself if you’ve managed to keep at it without fail. Although we always stress the importance of exercise, sometimes it is actually best to take a rest day. When is it OK to skip your routine without needing to feel guilty? Here are some legitimate reasons that don’t count as poor excuses.
Illness – The middle of winter is usually the height of the cold and flu season. Exercising while sick can prevent recovery and cause you to get worse. A good rule is to take a break if you’re feeling any symptoms below your neck, such as chest congestion or queasiness. Also, don’t exercise with a fever, chills, or dizziness. It’s OK if you’re only feeling a few sniffles or a scratchy throat and you feel like you have the energy. You may want to lighten the intensity, although it’s best to simply rest. Don’t push yourself when feeling under the weather and always listen to the advice of your doctor.
Injury – If you experience an acute injury, you should consult your doctor for the proper treatment. It’s possible you may need to take an unwanted break from your routine. However, that may not mean you need to completely give up regular physical activity. You may be able to give your injured area a rest while still working other muscle groups. Try to take this opportunity to find other exercises that you might enjoy. It’s the perfect time to discover something new.
Loss of Sleep – There’s no need to skip your workout if you had one or two bad nights. If it’s been a week or so of sleepless nights, or you’re jet-lagged, it’s a good idea to rest and get that extra sleep. Exhaustion can put you at the risk of injuring yourself.
Chronic Injury – If you have a chronic injury that starts acting up, a day off is in order so you don’t aggravate it any further. It’s better to take care of the first twinges of pain, rather than let it become more severe. You could wind up sidelining yourself for a lot longer if you don’t take care of it at the start.
Finished a Major Fitness Event – Did you just complete a marathon or participate in a competition? That’s great! Your body may need an extra day to recuperate so you shouldn’t feel bad for giving yourself a break. You’ve been probably working overtime and it’s essential to allow for recovery time. Instead of doing your normal workout, you could use your day off for stretching to alleviate soreness from any extra training you've been doing. A foam roller works great for this.
If you’re experiencing any of the above, take the appropriate rest needed. There’s no need to feel guilty or let it discourage you. Get yourself healthy so you can jump right back into your routine!