Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Regular exercise also affects our sleeping and eating habits.
But does it mean that we should workout 7 days a week?
Or is it okay to skip workout for a day or two?
But let’s get real. Despite the importance of exercise, everyone has other things on their schedule as well.
With everything going on in your life, sometimes you feel lazy or tired to get up and head out to the gym for workouts.
If that’s the case with you like most people, it is OKAY!
There is nothing to beat yourself up about missing a workout for a day or two.
Whether it’s due to a long day at work or heavy exercise, your muscle needs time to relax and heal.
Many expert fitness trainers and physicians suggest that taking a day or two break from workout is more effective than training 7 days a week.
Skipping Workout For a Day or Two Is Okay as long as you…
So is it okay to skip workout for a day or two? Well, the answer depends on quite a several factors.
Every individual has different fitness goals.
Some might be training for bulking, while others may train for cutting or maintaining.
The key to achieving your fitness goals is not how much do you exercise.
Instead, how you make the most out of your training routine for the time, you skipped.
So, while exercise is a significant contributor to achieving your fitness goals, it’s not the “only” factor.
It’s okay to bail on your workout for a day or two if you keep the other factors in check.
Your Calorie Target:
If you want to skip exercise for a day or two, the first rule is to keep your calorie intake in check.
However, when you are not working out on the days, it is recommended to decrease your calorie intake by 500 kcal.
Due to low activity on ‘no workout’ days, you don’t burn many calories.
Whether you are a fitness freak or not, hydration should be on your priority.
It keeps you energized and alert, especially when you miss the gym.
According to a registered dietician and author of Southern Living: The Slim Down South Cookbook, Carolyn O’Neil, dehydration is the leading cause of lethargy, headache, and irritability.
So drink lots of water or flavored ice tea, be it’s your gym or no gym day.
Proper and Balanced Diet:
It is okay to miss out on the gym for a day or two a week.
But your ‘no gym’ day is not your ‘Cheat Day.’
Your diet and fitness exercises go side by side.
And if you want to keep yourself on track and achieve your goals successfully while bailing on workout for a day, it is crucial to be mindful of your diet.
Many people, especially newbies, munch on their ‘guilty-pleasure’ food on the day they skip the gym.
The rule is to eat a leaner and more mean diet when you are not working out.
The dietician O’Neil suggests taking a high-protein breakfast, followed by a lean-protein and high-carb lunch.
She explained the half-plate rule.
Where you fill a half plate with fruits & vegetables, ¼ with lean protein like chicken, grilled fish, or beef), and ¼ with whole grains like whole-grain bread or brown rice.
When is it Okay To Skip Workout?
If you beat yourself about skipping the gym, thinking: is it okay to skip workout for a day or two, then stop.
Here are four times when experts recommend it’s best to skip a workout without feeling guilty about it:
When You Are Sleep Deprived
A successful fitness routine isn’t only about what exercises you perform or which diet you follow.
It also includes taking up proper rest and ample sleep.
When your body is sleep-deprived and stressed, your fitness routine can quickly go from “positive” to “negative.”
There is no doubt that physical activity lifts your spirit and elevates your energy.
But when you don’t get enough sleep, it is better to hit the hay instead of hitting the gym.
Due to lack of sleep, our body couldn’t achieve its full potential.
This way, your body gets exhausted, and you feel burn out, increasing the risk of injury.
Moreover, working out while being sleep-deprived can affect your heart rate, metabolism, inflammation, immune system, or overall cardiovascular system.
Fitness trainers advise taking a day off from the gym, sleep and give your body rest to recharge without feeling guilty about it.
It’s not only essential to your fitness journey but also for your mental and physical health.
When you are Sick or Injured
Many people ask their fitness trainers: is it okay to skip workout for a day or two when you have mild flu/cold/fever?
The simple answer is yes!
Even a mild fever is a sign that your immune system is warding off some foreign body.
Also, flu or cold is exhausting for the body, and you have low energy levels.
Working out on your sick days can trigger your illness, making it even worse.
So both fitness trainers and physicians advise you to rest when you are sick.
Similarly, if you have been injured, recovered from an injury, or have undergone a surgery/medical procedure, it is best to take few days off from the gym.
In this case, you can take more than a two-day break.
It is best to consult your trainer and physician on when to resume your fitness training.
When Your Muscles Are Sore
No matter how much of a fitness freak you are, it is not best to work out with sore muscles.
Muscle soreness or fatigue usually happens to newbies or after intense training.
According to the PT, Gregory Marcolin, the director of Physical Therapy at Ocean View Rehabilitation, the sore or muscle ache is the sign that our body is healing/repairing the muscular fiber.
The body, therefore, requires rest to repair the damage.
So it’s okay not to work out for a day or two when you feel sore.
Otherwise, it could be detrimental to your body and muscular growth in several ways.
When You are Stressed
On the days when you feel stressed, it is okay not to hit the gym.
While working out releases stress and helps you to relax, it’s not always a stress-reliever.
Your mental health is much important as your physical health.
Training when you are stressed out might intensifies the symptoms.
But if exercise is your go-to stress reliever, you should switch to low-intensity workouts like take a walk or practice yoga.
However, if you choose to stay in, skip exercise, and sleep, nothing is wrong.
Don’t Forgo Workout Past Two Days!
Fitness should never feel like a burden or pressure on your body or mind.
To keep it fun, it is a good practice to skip training for one or two days.
When you follow a proper diet and stay mindful of your calorie intake, it is adequate to give your body some rest.
It allows your body (muscular structure) to recharge and heal.
But it doesn’t mean to become inconsistent or lazy with your training.
When asked how often one can forgo daily workouts, most fitness trainers recommended a break not more than two days.
Well, there is an exception to this general rule.
It is okay to not workout when you are sick, injured, had a medical procedure and your physician has advised you to rest.
Whether you are skipping a workout for a day or more (in case of health issues), don’t compromise your diet, water intake, and sleep.
Also, when resting, try to engage yourself in mild/low-intensity exercises like yoga, brisk walking, or jogging.