Fitness Articles

7 Times It's OK to Skip a Workout

Stop Feeling Guilty When You Need a Break

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Sometimes when we miss a workout, we know full well that we are just making "the dog ate my homework" types of excuses that wouldn't fool anyone—not even you! But then there are the times when we have a valid reason for skipping a workout. Sometimes life really does get in the way. Sometimes you really do have to skip a workout, and don't need the extra guilt for doing so. You shouldn't beat yourself up for missing a day or even a week (or more) of workouts if you have a legitimate reason to opt out. But you should check in with yourself so you know whether it's a valid excuse or whether you should be a little tougher on yourself. To help you tell the difference, we've come up with a list of times you can totally pass on a workout—without feeling an ounce of guilt.

7 Justifiable Reasons to Miss a Workout
 
1. You just had a baby.
Having a baby is maybe the most valid reason for not working out. It's typically recommended that you wait six weeks after giving birth before you work out and even longer if you've had a C-section. Your body is recovering from a major physical even and not only should you cut yourself some slack, but it can be dangerous to exercise too soon. Postpartum bleeding, called lochia, can continue well past the four-week mark, and overdoing anything can cause bleeding to increase. So heed your doctor's advice and enjoy the baby. Don't rush getting back into fitness until your body feels ready to take it on (and you have your doc's OK). There will be plenty of time to work out once you've recovered!

2. You're injured.
It's not only important to skip your workouts when you're injured, but it's a necessity if you want to feel better! Giving your injury a break is essential to letting it recuperate so you're able to get back on the horse again soon. Putting more strain on an injury is just a recipe to get sidelined for good. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out what activities you can do with your injury. It might be possible to modify exercises so you can still work out, but there might be exercises to avoid, too. Being injured can be a positive in some ways, though. Nothing makes you miss working out more than not being able to do it, and this type of setback can also push you to discover new workouts you enjoy. If you can't run because of a knee injury, you might be able to try Pilates. If you have a stress fracture, you could fall in love with the bike or rowing machine or try a low-impact class.
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About The Author

Erin Whitehead Erin Whitehead
is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website FitBottomedGirls.com and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at FitBottomedMamas.com.

Member Comments

  • I would have to disagree with most of these points. - 6/7/2014 4:27:37 AM
  • How about being just plain worn out. I started a workout program and after three weeks of perfect adherence to my plan, I was starting to have to force myself to go in, until I recognized I was overtraining. I took a day off. When I went back, I went back to my baseline activity. Helped tremendously, and now I am consistently getting my three times per week. Glenn - 5/9/2014 12:24:37 AM
  • 8. If you have not eaten enough! I used to have to really watch that and if I did not eat enough I could not workout. This is a HUGE thing to be mindful of. My body started eating itself and it is a real problem nobody wants to or needs to face. - 3/22/2014 6:09:07 PM
  • Just had knee surgery about a week ago, so my exercise is a little lacking. But it is very important to get up and move around, plus I do exercises three times a day but nothing you can claim as calorie reducing. If your really sick or injured just walking to the bathroom is exercise enough. You can always ask the doctor what he thinks I did and I was surprised when he said I couldn't walk outside but a treadmill or a gym would be fine and like he told me just don't go nuts. - 2/17/2014 8:40:39 AM
  • Chances are if your as busy as what was posted in the article you probably walked enough to not work out for the day. - 2/16/2014 5:12:04 PM
  • Thanks for sharing. - 11/24/2013 6:14:30 AM
  • If there is a zombie apocalypse and the gym is full of zombies that would be another good reason. - 11/21/2013 2:00:10 PM
  • I always skip one or sometimes even 2 days a week. If my muscles get a rest to repair themselves, I come back stronger. I also skip running or any other exercise for 2 days before a race - maybe an easy walk, stretching & flexibility OK - major effort - no. - 11/21/2013 8:21:10 AM
  • the only times i skip a workout is when my back is acting up to the point where i cant get out of bed, or if i havent slept. im an insomniac so there are times when my body says no to sleep and i dont sleep all night or i dont sleep for a few nights. last week i didnt sleep for two nights straight and nothing could knock me out so i skipped the gym. last time i tried to work out after i hadnt slept for a night i passed out on the treadmill and woke up with a bunch of people over me. i wasnt hurt since i wasnt going fast or anything but it scared everyone including me. i have a potassium issue and with the lack of sleep and working out my doctor thinks my potassium dropped too far and thats why i passed out. - 11/21/2013 1:03:39 AM
  • WHOVIAN85
    I do not believe anyone is ever too busy to not have time to workout. i have three kids and a very busy life and still make time everyday to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. - 10/9/2013 6:58:57 AM
  • HINES12
    I thought being too busy was not a good excuse. - 10/8/2013 6:07:36 PM
  • Great info. Thanks - 10/8/2013 12:22:15 PM
  • I know most babies sleep through the night by 6 months. Both my kids failed to make that benchmark until they were 3 1/2 yrs old!!! Ugh!!! My second is still 3 1/2 and hasn't quite made it through the night every night for a week yet! :( My rule of thumb is less than 5 hrs. or more than 3 night time wake ups and I skip the morning work out. By setting a realistic goal or what is sleep deprivation vs. non-stop tiredness, I can determine if I should work out w/o the slippery slope of never working out because I don't "feel like it." - 10/8/2013 11:28:50 AM
  • AKAGUGO
    One of them: until last Sunday, I have been on a 45 consecutive evenings' streak of strenght training, earning me no less than 3 holes less in my belt.
    But on last Sunday, I happened to pressure-wash the exterior of my house for a strenuous 8 hours. I was completely exhausted and felt sprains everywhere in my back, shoulders, buttocks and legs.
    Simple lifting or even walking was impossible without groaning in pain and utter discomfort. I'll wait for another two days before resuming safely. - 10/8/2013 9:55:03 AM
  • Good article. thanks!! - 10/8/2013 8:40:40 AM
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