Skipping a workout can leave you feeling guiltier than ever or like you’ve taken a step back from reaching your goals; however, sometimes it’s a good idea to take a few days off. Read the five reasons below to find out if maybe you should finally take that sick day and give yourself a much needed break.
It’s important to adjust your workouts so that you’re not straining your injury; this could mean taking a complete break from all physical activity, or simply jogging for less time or miles. If you don’t give your injury the proper time and care it needs to heal, you could put more strain on it and have to stay out of the ring for even longer. Discuss with your physician or chiropractor what activities you can do with your injury so that you know which exercises to avoid. This may be an opportunity for you to try something new! If you’ve injured your knee, maybe it’s finally time to try out Pilates!
You’re Fighting an Illness
If you have a head cold, meaning all your symptoms are found above your neck, it’s okay to exercise. Sniffling, sneezing, coughing, headaches, and a sore throat don’t have to prevent you from your morning jog. However, if you’re feverish, congested in the chest or lungs, or feeling achy, chances are you may have the flu or another serious ailment that requires lots of rest. Exercising with a fever can leave you very susceptible to dehydration at a time when you need hydration the most. Taking a few days to rest on the couch instead of spreading (or contracting) germs at the gym is the way to go!
You Just Completed a Race
Did you just run a marathon? Can you finally call yourself a triathlete? Good for you! You may still be high on the endorphins from completing such a feat and you want to maintain that feeling of accomplishment, however, be careful. A day or two of rest is usually very necessary after any kind of race, especially if you’ve been steadily training for it. Your body needs the time and rest to fully recover, while some athletes say that light exercise, like a brisk walk, stretching, or foam rolling, can help with the soreness.
You Haven’t Slept Well
If you haven’t been sleeping well and you’re feeling exhausted, a workout could boost your energy, but if you haven’t been sleeping well for days it’s likely you’ll be too tired to get the benefit of exercise. Research shows that lack of sleep can increase your appetite for high-calorie, sugary foods that can set you back way more than missing a few workouts. You’re much better off sleeping in and waiting to exercise when you’re fully rested; you may be more likely to injure yourself if you exercise when your body and mind aren’t completely alert.
Your (insert reoccurring injury) is Acting Up Again
Exercising when a reoccurring injury is acting up is not a good idea. Even a slight twinge or pain could mean something more serious. Instead of charging through the pain, take a break before you hurt yourself even further. If an old injury is awakened, more often than not, it takes even longer to heal than before. Nip old injuries in the bud by taking a rest day.
Make sure to consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for all health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.