It often feels like you can come up with more good reasons to skip a workout than to actually do it. Maybe you’re comfy on the couch, it’s raining, you’re sore, or you simply can’t envision yourself getting up early to sweat. In those cases, though, it’s often possible to push through and do your workout anyway — if only for that glowing sense of accomplishment that happens the moment you press start on the treadmill.
That said, doing a workout when you aren’t in the mood isn’t always a good idea, says TJ Mentus, an ACE-certified personal trainer. The common notion that you should grind and do your workout no matter what sets you up to ignore signs from your body that indicate you truly do need to take a break, he tells Bustle. And that’s why knowing when to skip a workout is key.
“If there is something physically out of the norm with your body, then pushing through may come with consequences,” Mentus says. “Having pain or consistent lethargy may mean there’s an underlying problem that needs to be looked at, and making yourself workout may cause more damage.”
In general, it’s also super important to take breaks as part of a healthy exercise routine. “Taking a rest day allows the body to recover,” says Mentus. “When we work out we are breaking our [muscles] down, and it’s while resting that the body can build itself back stronger.” While planned rest days are crucial, throwing in a random day off is perfectly OK, too. It all depends on what’s going on and what you need.
Read on below for a list of signs you should skip a workout, straight from trainers.
How To Know When To Skip A Workout
1. You Have An Injury
If your shoulder is throbbing, your knee is aching, or your back is twinging, don’t ignore it and march off to the gym. But if you have serious pain or inflammation, it’s always best to sit out for a couple of workouts to rest, recover, and figure out what the issue is, says Mentus.
Taking a break will allow your body to heal and it’ll also prevent you from causing more damage to the area that’s injured, which can prolong your recovery time, Mentus adds. The sooner you relax, the sooner you’ll be able to get back …….