If you're on the fence about hitting to the gym today, don't blame laziness. There are some legitimate and surprising times you should skip the gym for your own well-being. Sometimes a rest day is the best choice for your body and brain.
For the most part, of course, hitting the gym is a wonderful choice for your health. Improved mood, increased energy, and pain reduction are just a few of the many ways regular exercise can improve your life, as noted in Healthline. Moving that body can do so much for your physical and mental well-being, and in many ways more is better. "The longer, harder and more often you exercise, the greater the health benefits, including reducing the risk of diseases such as cancer and diabetes," according to Scientific American. So pushing yourself to work out a little harder is usually great for your health, as well as your gym selfie game. (Hey, Insta can be a legit workout motivator.)
But sometimes, forcing yourself to workout can actually work against your overall health. In some cases, when you're really not feeling the gym today, then a nap or Netflix marathon may be the better choice. Read on to learn when you should take a pass on the spin class.
1. When You're Super Sleep Deprived
In general, regular exercise promotes better sleep, as explained in the Mayo Clinic. But if you're experiencing symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation such as difficulty concentrating or intense fatigue, then a workout may not be what you need right now, according to Very Well Fit. Make time for a solid night's sleep instead.
2. When You're Extra Sore
Mildly sore muscles are just a part of working out. But if you're really sore, to the point where you can't move, then consider skipping today's workout, according to Shape. There's no need to attempt an intense spin class when you're basically limping.
3. When You're Hungover
Going hard at the gym might not do your body any favors in this condition. "You cannot sweat out a hangover," said sports medicine physician Damion Martins, M.D. in Glamour. "By trying to do so, you further dehydrate your body, leading to more detrimental effects." Chilling out and hydrating is likely a more helpful option.
4. When You're Getting Sick
The next time you feel a cold or other bug coming on, pay attention. "There is a one- to two-day window when people suspect they're sick but often don't listen to the symptoms," said certified strength and conditioning specialist Holly Perkins in Women's Health. Skip the gym for a day or two so your body has time and resources to fight the infection. Plus, you aren't spreading germs to everyone else who uses the elliptical machine, which is pretty thoughtful.
5. When You're Bored Of The Workout
Daily workouts shouldn't feel like tedious torture. "From a behavioral perspective, research indicates that the more you enjoy physical activity, the more likely you are to adhere to a regular workout routine long-term," said master trainer and health coach Jessica Matthews in Shape. "At the end of the day, the 'best' form of exercise is the one which you consistently do and enjoy doing." If the idea of one more minute on the treadmill is too much, then take a break from your usual gym routine. It might be time to find a different workout that doesn't bore you to tears.
6. When You're Potentially Overtraining
You can have too much of a good thing when it comes to exercise. If you're showing symptoms of overtraining, such as decreased performance or agitation, then you may just need a rest day, according to the American Council on Exercise. Take a breather.
7. When You're Fatigued
This is a tricky one, because sometimes a little exercise can help you perk up. But in general, fatigue can increase your risk of workout injuries, as noted in Harvard Health Publishing. If you're super out of it, then maybe skip the gym and just chill for a bit instead. You can get back to the treadmill tomorrow.
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