Here’s When to Skip a Workout

by Valerie Demetros

If you’re like most people, you can probably think of a reason not to work out just about every day. Maybe the sofa is just too comfortable, or you’re a bit sore or you just want to sleep in.

Most of the time, those reasons are not good enough to keep you from your workout and you feel better after going. But every so often a legitimate reason pops up.

Here are a few reasons to consider staying home or at the very least taking it easy at the gym.


If your knee is aching or your back is twinging, don’t ignore it. Take a break and allow yourself to heal. The last thing you want to do is make an injury worse.


You certainly need to skip a workout if you just had surgery or even serious dental work. Ask your doctor when it’s safe to hit the gym again.


Depending how sick you are, you may be able to do a light workout, but don’t push your body. You’re more likely to become worse instead of better.

Consider the “neck up” rule. If you only have symptoms like a runny nose or sore throat, you may benefit from a workout. But only if you are not exhausted or fatigued.


If you’re just a bit sore after a rough workout, exercise may help you recover. But if you are extremely sore or feeling pain, then consider giving your body a rest.


If you just got a bikini wax, consider taking a rest. Excessive friction is not your friend right now. Take a pass on spin class, running and tight clothes. Lighter exercises in loose clothing are better alternatives.


If you find yourself with a bad hangover, you may want to consider staying home or at least making it a low-intensity workout. Your motor skills may not be up to par, which increases your risk of injury. Drink plenty of water, and how about just a nice long walk?


If none of these reasons apply, listen to your body and take a day off if you truly feel you need it. Just as your body needs a break, so does your mind. If you have been faithfully working out and just need a break, take it. Self-care is important.