Many people seem to have the notion that “more is better”, and in cases like eating more vegetables or getting more sleep, it can be. However, there are some cases where this isn’t true, and one of them is working out. Remember, more training is not always better. Now I am certainly not telling anyone to stop exercising, but there are reasons as to why you should skip your workout. It is super important to listen to your body and make decisions based on how you feel, as only you know whether you are feeling 100% or not.
Have you ever experienced these signs which mean you shouldn't exercise?
You Are Exhausted
So many people forget that sleep is just as important as proper nutrition and exercise. When your body is tired and run down, it cannot function at its full potential. This may leave you feeling sluggish, grumpy and weak. If you are exhausted and running on little sleep, exercising may place added and unnecessary stress on your body. If you train when you are exhausted, you also may not be able to perform at your best during your workout. For example, you may start to compromise on your technique in your last few reps, which could possibly result in injury. It is important to remember that your body repairs itself when you sleep, so if you don’t already, then try to aim for at least 8 hours sleep each night.
You Spend Hours on Cardio and Hate It
If you are one of those people that believe you need to spend an hour or more on cardio daily, and absolutely hate it, it is time to stop! Exercise isn’t always the first thing we rush to do, but most people generally feel great after working out and feel like they have accomplished something. It is very hard to stick to something consistently if it constantly feels like a chore to you, and you may be more prone to quitting and giving up. I find that many girls get caught up in the idea that cardio is “the only thing” that will help them lose weight. Whilst cardio is an important part of your workout routine, you do not need to complete hours of it each and every day. I recommend doing 30-45 minutes on most days, and this can be in the form of a walk (at the shopping centre if you wish), cycle or swim. Another great form of cardio is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because it can be finished in under 15 minutes, and continues to burn fat in your body after you have finished. Make sure you find a workout routine that suits your lifestyle, if your current one is making you unhappy then it may be time to reevaluate.
You Are Stressed
I know to some people being stressed is a good reason TO workout, but hear me out! When you are overly stressed (it’s been one of those weeks) and everything seems like it is falling apart, forcing yourself to get a workout in could be putting even more stress on your body. If you have just had a bad day, getting a workout in may help you to feel better and think clearer. However, if you have been stressed for a while and it has built up over time, then it’s okay to take a few steps back and focus on dealing with what is stressing you out. You will feel much better once you have dealt with the cause of your stress and can fully concentrate on your workouts. Your body will also thank you for it.
Your Muscles Are Super Sore
If you haven’t exercised in a while when you first jump into it, you may be really sore for the next few days. It is okay to get back to the gym and workout again, however it may be best to complete a low intensity exercise, such as walking. Once your body starts getting used to you working out, you should find yourself becoming less and less sore. However, if you have been exercising for a while and had a killer leg session and you are struggling to walk or bend properly the next day (and I mean really struggle), it is a sign to take a break. This applies to anytime you have severely sore muscles and any back pain. It is important to let your muscles rest so that they can repair themselves as continually training over sore muscles may result in an injury. I love pushing my body, but I also know my limits and would never push hard enough to injure myself. Once you are in tune with your body, you will be able to figure out how much is too much.
In addition to the points above, overtraining IS possible and many people don’t realise that they are doing it - and it could be negatively impacting their bodies.
Here are some reasons why you should skip your workout as a result of overtraining:
Your Muscles Repair When You Rest
The benefit of rest is that your muscles have the opportunity to repair themselves. When you lift weights it creates tiny tears in your muscles that can only be repaired during rest. This process is what makes them stronger than before, but may also leave you feeling a little sore a day or two afterwards! When organising your training schedule, it is important that you make time for rest and rehabilitation in addition to your regular resistance and cardio sessions. If you tend to pull up sore after each workout, follow on with cardio and some light stretching the next day instead. Some girls also find it helpful to have one “exercise free” day to help their body recover. This may require a couple of weeks of trial and error, but once you find a routine that works for you and your body, then stick to it!
You May Burn Out
If you are overtraining, it is possible to burn out. Whilst being exhausted after a workout can be a satisfying feeling, if you are doing three group exercise classes back to back every single day, then you could potentially be putting your body under a lot of stress. Everything in life is all about balance, which is why it is so important for you to find a exercise program that works with your lifestyle and also leaves you with enough energy for other activities. If you burn out after going hard for one or two months, you will more than likely quit because you cannot sustain it. Instead find a workout routine that makes you happy and that you can maintain long-term, and if you skip that one Wednesday workout remember, it is okay!
May Lead You To Plateau
Overtraining may do the opposite of what your intentions actually are. If you are continually training for too long and/or too much, your body will release large amounts of cortisol (stress hormone). Not only can this be damaging your body long-term, but it may cause your body to hold onto fat rather than lose it. If you are following my BBTG Guide, this is why I recommend completing your resistance session and LISS sessions separately, so that your body isn't put under too much stress for an extended period of time.
I hope these tips have helped, girls! Remember, it is important to listen to your body and give it best chance possible to repair itself before you go all out in a workout.Love, Kayla xx