Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore, it should be relieving you of the stress caused by the chores that you did. There are a couple of reasons why you may miss a day of exercise and I am here to tell you that it is OK if you do.
I always compare it to nutrition in that one day of unhealthy eating will not make you fat and one day of eating healthy will not make you lose fat either. This is valid in training too.
The reason I am writing this article is because I was meant to exercise on Friday, but for various reasons, I wasn’t able to.
I kept on preparing myself to go and stopped midway. I realized that I was going through a cycle of procrastination and I just decided I won’t go.
You see, I have a routine that I follow and when I miss a day, I always feel like I’ve messed up somehow. I had to realize that it is OK, because my routine can still be accommodated in the next couple of days.
When It Is OK to Skip a Workout
It is important to follow a routine or schedule for training, this allows you to develop training into a habit. It also improves your chances of achieving your fitness goals, because it pushes consistency and discipline.
There comes days where you feel that you won’t make it. Here are some reasons where it is OK to skip a workout:
1. Injury or Being Too Sore
When you’ve heavily injured yourself and are unable to actually do any exercise. Otherwise, if you’re injured and it’s not the muscle group that you want to train, go ahead, but be careful.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can be confused with injury, but if your muscles are sore because of exercise, it would be good to actually exercise. This will allow blood to flow through your body and those muscles to help you recover, but keep it light to prevent spiking injury.
If you’re too sore, take a rest day, massage and stretch it out.
2. Overly Stressed
Stress is usually what you should exercise for, because it is a stress reliever and makes you feel better. But, when you’ve got too much that is stressing you, it can actually hinder your performance in the gym.
If you feel that too much is weighing you down, take a nap and see if it will subside by the time you wake up and if you still have time to exercise, go!
3. Sacrifice Time
I’ve always believed that you’ll always make time for the things that matter to you most, like your health and fitness. I have realized that sometimes, you must sacrifice.
You may have broken something, like your phone and must get it fixed. You may have a test on the day or the day after and you haven’t done enough studying for it. Sacrificing exercise to make more time for other things you prioritize is actually good.
This is why it is important, before choosing a program, make sure that it will fit your schedule and unexpected events.
4. You Are Sleep Deprived
Not having enough sleep can prevent you from being active, because of fatigue. It will hinder your energy and performance in the gym. This will reduce your chances of making progress towards your fitness goals.
An average adult should sleep at least 7 hours, otherwise 8 is best for energy and recovery. Sleep allows your muscles to grow and helps you lose fat.
5. Whenever You Feel Like It
This can be controversial, because most of the time, this is the case. It is important that you do not look into this as your main reason, because exercise can help you feel better. I believe you must be able to make up for that missed day, especially if you’ve got a schedule.
This is easier when you’ve got a schedule that can be adjusted. When you’ve also made exercise a habit and are doing it consistently, this also becomes easier.
Your “why” must be strong for exercising and working towards your fitness goals. It must be long-term, making it easier to include exercise into your lifestyle. You know that you’ve got it sorted in the next couple of days if you miss a workout, because of your strong “why”.
Importance of Rest and Relaxation
When you skip a workout and decide to add it to another day, it will mess up your schedule. This is because your body undergoes stress from more than just exercise, but also life.
On your rest days, other than your muscles recovering, your nervous system does too from everything. When you mess that up through trying to double up or catch up a missed workout, it does shock your whole system, not in a good way.
The most important thing is to just get back on track ASAP once you get off. As mentioned before, one bad meal or missed workout will not make you lose progress.
Take it as a rest day because you’ve deserved it if you’ve been consistent in the week.
Every muscle must rest at least 24 hours before your next workout. This is highly dependent on your age, intensity of your workouts and the intensity of your life.
When To Double Up The Next Day On Exercise
When you’ve skipped a workout and you want to do two the following day, should you do them?
Doubling up the next day because of a skipped workout can be dangerous. You can invoke injury or ultimately, make things worse for yourself. If you’re looking to double up the next day, here are things you should take into account before you do:
1. The Affected Muscle Groups
When you miss a day of exercise and your performance will be affected negatively the next day if you double up, don’t worry about that day anymore.
If the workouts are completely unaffected, like an upper body and lower body split, it’s worth a try. but with moderate intensity. It is all dependent on your judgement and understanding of your body.
If you’ve still got another day in the week to feet that workout in, do it then. Otherwise, on to the next week.
2. How Much Time You Have to Exercise Again
If you’re an early bloomer, getting a morning and evening workout is easy, but if not or you’ve got to work early the next day, it can be difficult fitting two workouts in the space of 4 hours, but this is the worst case scenario.
A planned workout schedule is what is important in ensuring that you get things right, in that no matter if you’ve missed a day or two, you will be able to make it up the next couple of days.
3. Can Your Body Handle It?
Your body is the greatest indicator for everything it does and consumes. You must listen to it, if you’re an athlete or have a very physical job, doubling up may be normal to you.
If you’re someone that has an average desk job and doesn’t exercise much, it would not be in your best interests, health and safety to do that.
Exercise should be incorporated into your lifestyle and not you trying to chase it whenever you can. This can cause you to form a bad relationship with exercise, because you’ll feel bad when you do miss it.
- Schedule a program that can accommodate your lifestyle of work, school etc and unexpected events. This makes it easier to be consistent, even when you do miss a workout.
- Life can get too much for one day, it is okay to take another rest day than normal.
- Double up your workouts, only if your body can handle it.
I had thought of doubling up on Saturday, but ended up just exercising on Sunday too. This in turn helped me make time for other things. I will be training again on Monday, unfortunately, but I will be back on track regardless this week.