Yes, you read that headline correctly — I am going to provide you with three reasons you should sit out your next workout.

No, these are not excuses and should not be thought of as such. Whether you’re rehabbing an injury or exhausted from lack of sleep, it’s important to acknowledge that exercise should be performed when you’re at your peak.

So before you lace up, make sure you check the list below. It could prevent you from the all-too-common fitness failure: overtraining.

1. You’re injured

You went at it hard during yesterday’s workout. In the end you were wobbling out of the gym, not due to exhaustion but instead because you felt a muscle pull in an uncomfortable way. And although you’re limping around your office, missing today’s workout of chest and abs would derail your whole week.

My answer? Too bad.

Take the day off and rest your injuries. Even though you may think working a different muscle group is doable, it’s best to lay off all together. Whether we like it or not, exercising is a type of stress on the body. Instead, head home after work and ice the area. You’ll be back in the squat rack in no time.

2. You’re running on no sleep

Let’s face it, we’re all busy and running on limited hours of sleep. From work stress to social obligations, the time spent with our head on the pillow should be longer. Instead of pushing through when you’ve had less than 6 hours of shut-eye, go to bed early or sleep in for a few more hours.

That extra time between the sheets will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated. Sure that workout may give you energy, but there is only so long you can burn the candle at both ends. Rest is vital to improving our health — even if that means missing that sweat sesh.

3. You’re sore

One large misconception is that you should work out despite muscle soreness. False. If you’re experiencing the effects of a tough workout, it’s time to take a day off.

When you strength train you’re actually creating tiny tears within your muscle fibers. In order for you to get stronger, you must allow for ample rest so these tears can repair themselves and become stronger.

Shape states, “While it’s important to work your muscles (hard!) to stimulate muscle-building proteins, it’s equally as important to give your body enough time to recover (usually until you’re no longer sore).”

So instead of hitting the gym, grab a foam roller or book a massage. This deep fascial release will help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility. Definitely a better option than re-tearing those already beat up muscles.

Image via Shutterstock 


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