Whether you’re working out to lose weight or to tone your muscles, a regular exercise schedule can help you stay on track. That doesn’t mean that skipping one workout will put an end to all your efforts, especially when there are extenuating circumstances.

Take a look at the main reasons to skip a workout, and decide for yourself when it’s better to stick to your exercise routine even if you don’t feel like it and when it’s better to just take a break.

You’re Sick

Many claim that exercising when you have a cold is good for the immune system, but that’s not always the case. If your only symptoms are fatigue and a runny nose, you’re good to go. However, when you’re dealing with a fever, it’s important to let your body focus its resources on healing without adding stress. Stick to moderate exercises for a cold, but say no to workouts when you’re feverish or have flu symptoms.

You’re Not Sleeping Enough

Exercise taking up time that would be better spent sleeping is definitely one of the reasons to skip a workout. You can probably power through your exercise routine after a single night without enough rest, but if you’re having trouble sleeping for more than a single night, take a nap instead of hitting the gym.

Making Up Excuses To Skip Working Out

You’re Injured

Once you get used to a tough workout routine, feeling slightly achy or sore is fine. However, sharp pangs of pain indicate an injury. Instead of ignoring the pain and hitting the gym again, don’t exert yourself again. Pushing yourself when you’re dealing with pain can increase the gravity of the injury and you might be forced to stop working out for longer.

You Already Got Plenty of Exercise

One of the most reasonable reasons to skip a workout is when you’re already tired from an intense physical activity. Whether it was playing sports for a few hours or doing a lot of gardening, you’ll know when you’ve already reached your exercise goal for the day, and working out would be too much. However, don’t skip the gym because you walked 10 more minutes than most days. That’s not really a workout.

Your Asthma Is Getting Worse

An asthma flare-up is particularly dangerous when working out if it was caused by a respiratory infection. Take your time to recuperate before hitting the gym again. Once you go back to working out, take it easy and make sure that you’re following your doctor’s recommendations to stay safe. Stop exercising if you’re feeling short of breath.

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You’re Dealing with Severe Muscle Soreness

It’s perfectly normal to feel a little sore after an intense workout, especially after taking a long break. But muscle soreness that you start noticing a few hours after exercising can be a sign that you’re pushing yourself too far. When you’re too sore, that’s one of the best reasons to skip a workout and give your muscles a day off to recuperate.

Your Back Hurts

Back pain is also a big warning sign that you might be working out too intensely. Avoid the movements that seem to accentuate the pain and give yourself a break. If the symptoms don’t go away after a few days, your next appointment should be with a doctor, not with a personal trainer.

Good Reasons To Skip A Workout

You’re Extremely Exhausted

Chronic fatigue is a big warning sign that something is wrong with your schedule, especially when you’re working out on most weekdays. Being very exhausted is a good reason to skip one workout, allowing your body to rest before exerting yourself again at the gym.

Your Cycle Is Acting Up

Amenorrhea, an absence of menstruation, can be caused by extreme exercising, but most women who work out too much can start noticing other irregularities with their menstrual cycle. Your estrogen level can decrease, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis.

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You Just Don’t Have the Time

When you’re committed to losing weight or getting in shape, every workout is important. Relaxing is equally important and having to choose between exercise and spending time with the people closest to you is definitely one of the reasons to skip a workout. Stay on track, but know that it’s OK to take a break from time to time to focus on other important things.