There are a lot of excuses for not working out. And contrary to popular belief I think there are some times that you should actually skip a workout. So to answer that age old question, “Should I skip a workout or scoot out the door?” I’ve created a little cheat sheet to help you figure it out.
I have an early meeting.
If your day starts off busy you can guarantee it’s not going to stop. Take 20 minutes to get a bare-bones, basic workout done and your day will start with energy, an endorphin rush and a feeling of strength and power. Skip the workout and you’ll kick yourself for not doing something.
I’m going to hit snooze and workout later.
The ugly little fact about the snooze button is that it’s the Devil. A typical “snooze cycle” is about 8-12 minutes. Just enough time for you to fall back asleep before being jarred awake. Even if you hit snooze 5 times, you are only dropping into the lowest level of sleep, not enough to really help. Set your alarm and just get up. And you’ll workout later? Really? And I’m the Easter Bunny.
I have not slept well for a few days.
Sleep is golden and to miss out on a day or two of true rest is harmful and you’ll feel it immediately. If you have had a few days of bad sleep, set your alarm for a regular wake up time (not your workout time) and get some rest.
Here’s the caveat – if you forget to allow yourself to sleep in and your alarm wakes you up at “workout time” get out of bed and get a moderate workout done. Remember, snooze is the Devil.
I have a cold.
Anything above the neck gets the green light for a workout. Stuffy head, stuffy nose, sore throat and the like may make you feel cruddy but a workout can help. Exertion thin the mucus and clears the airways. Drop down to 70% intensity and see how you feel.
I have a fever or chills.
Chills and a fever are clear signals that you are unwell. Same goes for your stomach distress if it includes diarrhea. When your body is fighting something bigger than a cold you need to rest, hydrate and stay cozy on the couch watching The Chew.
It’s cold outside.
If the temps are above 20 degrees and isn’t snowing, sleeting or hailing I say go for it. That’s why God invented Cool Max. Throw on your wicking layers; a hat, gloves, pants (long or short), a jacket and hit the road. If you can’t bear going outside, hit the gym or do a 20 minute circuit in your living room.
Soreness is your body’s way of telling you that you need to workout more! Seriously, if you have general soreness from a hard workout it’s actually better to take a walk, run or go for a hike. Doing so will help flush the lactic acid out of your system more quickly than sitting around complaining that you’re sore. If it’s really intense (this is especially common if you are tackling something new such as boot-camp or lifting weights) take an easy walk, a bath and some ibuprofen. And be sure to drink a lot of water.
So I guess you can see that in my opinion, there’s no good excuse for skipping a workout, unless you’re really sick, completely sleep deprived or injured. Any exercise is better than none.
Now go run!