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5 Totally Acceptable Reasons for Skipping a Workout, Expert Reveals

Sometimes, you need to give your body a break.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you don't already know why it's beneficial to stick to a regular workout routine, let us clue you in. By committing to a schedule and incorporating the right kind of exercise into your regimen, both your physical and mental health can thrive. But alas, there are times when you just really, really don't feel like suiting up for the gym and working up a sweat. We've all been there, which is why we consulted with an expert who breaks down five totally acceptable reasons for skipping a workout.

Although you don't want to make it a habit of skipping out on your fitness time, working out too much can cause more harm than good. On top of that, there are certain circumstances when giving yourself a break from your strength training or aerobic session is the right choice. For instance, Jayda Kapeller, a personal trainer and exercise consistency coach, explains to Eat This, Not That! that the following are five totally acceptable reasons for skipping a workout. Keep reading to learn more, and next, check out 5 Exercise Habits That Are Wrecking Your Body After 40.

Reason #1: You're sleep deprived.

man tired, fatigued during workout

"Sleep is an essential human need and without it, we are unable to properly function, which is why rest needs to be your priority," Kapeller says. Beyond that, Kapeller adds, "If you are sleep deprived and choose to participate in an intense workout, you are more susceptible to injury and you will be unable to perform your movement at an optimal level."

Needless to say, focusing on getting enough rest is a smart decision. In this case, missing a workout to catch up on much-needed Z's will revitalize your body and help you gain strength for your next training session.

Reason #2: You're feeling sick.

While being tired is a surefire sign that you need rest over exercise, the same can be said for being ill. "If you're feeling sick or like you're about to get sick, skipping your workout is a smart decision," Kapeller assures us. "Your body is communicating with you that something is wrong, so it's best to listen to it."

Instead of attempting to tackle your normal workout, do yourself a favor, and give your body the rest it needs to get better.

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Reason #3: You're experiencing physical pain or soreness.

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It's totally normal, if somewhat unfortunate, that you may feel a little sore after indulging in a good workout. However, it's also something you want to be wary of if you're experiencing pain before you start any physical activity or if the issue lingers too long.

Kapeller explains, "If you are experiencing extreme soreness from a previous workout or if you have new pain that could be intensified through exercise, it is best to skip your workout that day. The goal for movement is to feel BETTER after your workout, not worse."

If you need to put off your workout due to soreness, Kapeller recommends drawing a warm bath with Epsom salts and letting your muscles soak. The top priority here is to minimize your pain!

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Reason #4: You've consecutively participated in high-intensity workouts.

"It is easy to feel excited about our goals," Kapeller says. "So much that we can create extreme stress on our bodies without taking the proper rest that's needed."

Although you may enjoy pushing yourself to the limit, it's important to remember that your body needs time to deal with the effects of the exercise you're putting it through.

That's why Kapeller explains, "If you've participated in two or more high-intensity workouts in a row, it is more than acceptable to skip your workout in order for your body to recover." She adds, "During intense training, we create micro-tears in our muscle fibers which will lead to soreness and compromised performance if we do not take the time to rest."

Reason #5: You're undernourished.

Finally, Kapeller explains, "If you've opted for coffee all day, you haven't had any water, and accidentally missed breakfast and lunch, it is acceptable to skip your workout. Your metabolism is like a fire; it needs to be fed in order to stay burning. You need energy and nutrients for an effective workout or else your exercise will likely result in lightheadedness, nausea, injury, fainting, or worse."

To prevent that from happening, Kapeller says that you need to focus on staying hydrated and consuming three to six meals each day to ensure your body stays nourished and you feel like your best self while you're working out, along with before and after.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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