Some days you just don’t feel like working out. When it happens to you, you might find yourself having an inner dialog while staring at your running shoes, trying to drum up an excellent reason to choose a more relaxing activity instead.
It’s often best to push through that procrastination. Anyone who exercises knows the hardest part is the moment before you begin warming up, and the experience tends to feel much better — even super enjoyable — once you get going. But there are a few times it really is a good idea to take the day off. If you avoid these potentially disastrous workout pitfalls, you’ll have a much better time keeping your regular fitness regimen.
1. You just left happy hour
Say you’ve just left a day at the office, and your work pals invite you for a quick post-work drink. It might be a stretch, but some people convince themselves that one glass of wine before the gym is a novel idea. No big deal, right? There are actually several reasons why working out tipsy is a bad move. Aside from alcohol being a depressant, it leads to faster dehydration and decreased coordination. And you know how alcohol makes you feel less inhibited? That means you’re much more likely to overexert yourself or try a risky lift you probably shouldn’t.
2. You’re sick
A fever on the treadmill is not doing anyone any good. Your fellow gym members certainly don’t appreciate any lingering germs you might leave for them to pick up. But more importantly, working out when you’re under the weather could exacerbate whatever’s going on in your system. When you’re experiencing sickness, it isn’t the time to psych yourself up and take a mind-over-matter approach. What your body needs is rest — so hold yourself to a high standard of self care and get back into those pajamas when need be.
3. You have a recent injury
There’s a ton of information out there regarding the best ways to train through injury recovery. If you have a recent injury, talk to your doctor or specialist before returning to your regular routine. It may be possible to do a workout that isolates the injured area — seated arm lifts if the injury is in your ankle, for example. But the bottom line is injuries call for patience. You can actually prolong or worsen the problem by working out too soon after injury. So take a break to assess what your path to recovery will be before diving back in.
4. You’ve been going too hard
It can be a fine line telling the difference between pushing your limits in a healthy way versus taking it too far. A lot of it has to do with gradual pace. Have you gone from a low-intensity workout routine to a super-demanding one too quickly? Perhaps you overbooked yourself with a triathlon, trip to the rock wall, and spin class too close in your schedule. Or maybe you’re working toward a fitness goal and want to speed up the results. Whatever the reason, working out too hard can be dangerous if you’re pushing your limits dangerously instead of realistically.
5. You just need a day off
If you’re committed to leading an active and healthy life packed with fun and challenging opportunities for exercise, you know when it’s best to give yourself a break. Many fitness enthusiasts adopt a three days on, one day off routine for rigorous training. It can be hard not to second-guess, but if that feeling of really needing to take a day off comes pretty rarely, there’s no reason not to go with it. Take the time to treat yourself to a little leisure time or get something checked off your to-do list. Use the off day for light stretching or a long walk. If you know you’ll be back in your workout gear tomorrow, give yourself a pass!
Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as keeping your exercise habits at peak balance. Svelte plant-based protein shakes make the ultimate pre- or post-workout snack. But they’re also a delicious treat you can throw in your bag for instant wholesome nutrition on the go. Did we mention that they’re also vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and contain 11 grams of protein with only 6 grams of sugar? Now that’s something worth taking a break for. Check out more from the Svelte community in the #drinksvelte Instagram feed!