When you are feeling lazy, you might be better off pushing yourself a little to get to the gym. Sometimes this can kick out the lazy mood and give you more energy. But, if you are injured or need time to heal or rest, it might be best to bow out.
There are some very good reasons to skip a workout, here is a list of 6 reasons you should take the day off.
1. Coughing or wheezing
It’s okay to work out when you have common cold symptoms. But, Jessica Matthews, an assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego and senior advisor of health and fitness education at the American Council on Exercise, explains that even if you do workout to boost your circulation and feel better, it is important to “just make sure that you do something low-intensity and don’t push your body too hard.”
A general guideline is to stay home and relax when your symptoms are below the neck, or in your chest. If you are coughing, wheezing, or having trouble catching your breath, you might be developing a more serious infection and should rest until you feel better.
2. You didn’t get enough sleep.
Getting through your workout on no sleep is not a badge of honour, and you may be doing yourself more harm than good. All it takes is one night of sleep deprivation to affect your healthy by raising your stress levels and increasing production of hunger inducing hormones.
For those with regular sleep deprivation, you are putting yourself at risk for many health problems, including heart disease.
Matthews states, “If you can, switch your workout to that afternoon or evening, or make an effort to sneak in more movement throughout your day, like taking a walk during lunch.”
3. You have a fever.
You should always avoid working out when you have a fever. When you are running a temperature, working out can raise your internal temperature and slow the process of healing. At the first signs of chills or body aches, skip your workout and get some rest.
4. You’re still sore.
If you are experiencing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), it’s a good idea to take a rest day. This condition can occur after a difficult workout as a result of tiny tears in the muscles.
Although the repairs in the muscle will make you stronger, you need to provide the muscles with adequate time to heal. When you workout with stiff muscles, you may compromise the movements, which can give you less results or even put you at risk for injury.
Matthews states, “You may favour one side during a movement, or not be able to go through a full range of motion.” If you are experiencing soreness in one group of muscles, it’s okay to work another group, but if the soreness is widespread, then take a break.
5. Something hurts every time you workout.
If your foot or knee hurts every time you run, it might be time for a break. Moira McCarthy, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, states, “Persistent pain is a red flag that something’s wrong.”
McCarthy suggests you rest until you can exercise pain free, since it may be a case of plantar fasciitis or possible a stress fracture. If the problem persists, see a doctor or physical therapist.
6. You are run down.
Feeling sluggish for a day or two is not uncommon. Exercise can often help this problem. But, if you have been feeling particularly fatigued for two weeks or more, you need to see a doctor and make sure there is not a bigger issue.
Matthews states, “You need to rule out a more serious medical issue, such as a thyroid problem or chronic fatigue.”
Pushing yourself to get to the gym is generally beneficial and can help establish healthy habits. But, overdoing it when your body needs to rest or heal can do more harm than good.