How To Get Comfortable With Skipping A Workout

Your gym bag is packed and you plan to hit the best class or go through your favorite exercise routine. Yet when your morning alarm goes off, you’re just too tired not to hit snooze. Or when you wrap up work for the day, you feel more interested in relaxing than sweating.

So you skip your workout for the day. And then you end up feeling guilty.

If you’ve been in this situation before, you’re in good company. I’ve felt exercise guilt plenty of times. After all, I could have squeezed that workout in if I really wanted to. Even though I had an event to attend after work, I could have worked out at home. I could have gotten up early and headed to the gym before going to the office.

But all these “could haves” are unnecessary. There’s no need to feel bad for skipping a workout. We talked to the experts to find out why.

how to get comfortable skipping your working without exercise guilt

What causes exercise guilt

It’s important to start with the why behind the guilt. Jeremy Clements, a fitness trainer in Chicago, noted that social media can be a contributor.

“There is still a lot of content out there where ‘fitness professionals’ are pushing the idea(s) of ‘never miss a Monday,’ ‘never miss a leg day,’ never miss (insert any ‘day’), or will push the philosophy that even if you aren’t feeling your best you should get your workout in,” he said.

How to get comfortable with skipping your workout

Regardless of the reason, the bottom line is that you’re feeling ashamed. How can you get comfortable with skipping your workout? Clements advised reframing your mentality and thinking about what you got to do instead of that workout. “Maybe [you] got to hang out with friends or family, catch up on a TV show, or just lay in bed and relax,” he said.

Personal trainer and health coach Stacey Stedman recommended looking at the bigger picture. “One missed workout is not going to make you a couch potato, just like one salad is not going to give you six-pack abs,” she said.

Additionally, fitness and health are multi-faceted, involving nutrition, habits, and a good mindset. You can feel OK about skipping a workout because you’re paying attention to what your body is asking for at that moment. “If rest is what you need, then rest. If a good sweat is what you need, then go sweat. Or if your nutrition has been out of whack, then put your focus there,” Stedman said.

Even if it’s right for you to skip a workout on a certain day, you can still find ways to move your body. Clements had a few suggestions, including “standing up and sitting down throughout the day, doing arm circles, finding an opportunity to take the stairs rather than an elevator, or just stretching [your] arms overhead throughout the day.”

In the long run, Clements said it’s better to set weekly or monthly exercise goals instead of daily ones.

“There are going to be days that life gets in the way and if you don’t hit your movement goal for that day, it can be discouraging,” he noted. If you have longer-term goals, skipping one day won’t seem so bad.

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About Erin Dietsche

Erin ran track from an early age, but it wasn’t until her parents “forced” her to join her high school cross country team that she fell in love with running. Since then, she’s become an avid runner and learned how to balance her running with her interest in eating chocolate. In recent years, Erin has embraced other forms of fitness like lifting weights. When she’s not working out, she enjoys anything theatre-related, writing plays, reading, listening to rap music, and playing the piano.