Going to the gym can be a real drag. Sometimes you've got piles of work, are super tired, or just want to see friends for a change, instead of dealing with "adult responsibilities." Obviously, you shouldn't make a habit out of making excuses to not follow up on your commitments. But sometimes it's more than OK to skip a gym session — it's even necessary. Just be sure you know the difference between "procrastinating forever and ever" and "taking a much needed rest day." There are, of course, times when everyone deserves to give themselves a break, and fitness certainly isn't the be-all-end all to happiness, which is something to remember before beating yourself up on whether or not you're going to the gym in the first place.
Part of taking a day off from the gym is understanding exactly why you're going to the gym. If it's because you feel pressured to go for reasons other than enjoying the way it makes you feel, perhaps taking a break and getting to love yourself on your own terms is a good idea. If you're going to maintain a healthy quality of life, then sometimes not going to the gym is what you need to do to achieve that end. Contentment comes from balance, so if you're a regular Joe whose livelihood doesn't rely on fitness (I mean, if you're Serena Williams, I get the gym thing, but if you're Nancy office job, it's OK to chill a little), you don't need to feel bad about skipping a gym sesh. Here's why it's OK to skip the gym today:
1. You're Sore
If you exercise regularly and have been going hard at the gym, and your muscles ache, it's OK to take a day off. I know you're supposed to keep moving to lessen muscle pain post-workout, but that doesn't mean you have to work out just as hard. Take a casual walk instead of the gym, or seriously just lay down and have a nap. If you've been something of a gym rat, you've truly earned your down time.
2. You're Sick
For the love of God, if you're unwell in any way, there's no shame in skipping the gym. Just drink lots of liquids and eat some chicken soup and let your body recover.
3. You're Tired
It's OK to be too tired to do stuff. Sometimes life is like that. If you've had a bad night of sleep followed by a tough day at work followed by whatever other crap life chose to throw at you that day, you can skip the gym. Sure, the gym might make you feel better, but so too might drawing a hot bath and pouring yourself a glass of wine before going to bed early.
4. There's Something More Fun Happening
Don't be the person who declines fun stuff like friendly dinners and other social events to go to the gym. When you're old, you're not going to remember all the time you spent pumping iron. You're going to remember all the fun adventures you had in the world with people you love.
5. You're Simply Overwhelmed With Other Commitments
Work deadlines, calling your mom, washing your hair: life sometimes gets the better of you when you've got a million things to do and no time to do them. The gym isn't always your first priority. Get through the important stuff on your list first, and if that means taking a day off the gym, so be it! You'll get a lot more out of your gym time if you're not stressing about other things you have to do anyway.
6. You Just Don't Feel Like It
Some days, you're just not feeling it. And that's OK! You don't have to force yourself to do anything you don't want to do. Be happy, healthy, and live as your most fabulous you. Even if that means not going to the gym today.
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