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Is Missing a Day of Exercise Bad?

by
author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
Is Missing a Day of Exercise Bad?
A young woman is exercising outside. Photo Credit Marili Forastieri/Photodisc/Getty Images

A busy schedule, waning motivation and tough workouts can all make you think twice before heading to the gym. While missing one day of exercise won't completely derail your process, making it a habit can. Before you skip a workout, consider your motives. When in the name of rest and recovery, skipping a day can be beneficial. When the result of a lack of motivation, missing exercise can hinder your progress.

Regular Exercise

Whether you're trying to lose weight, build muscle or simply live a healthy lifestyle, exercise is an integral part of your health. Exercise helps to keep your heart strong, burn calories and increase your energy level, so it's important to create an exercise routine that you're comfortable with and that you can commit to on a daily basis. Missing one day here and there won't negatively affect your overall health and wellness, but it could be the start to a dangerous habit of skipping exercise on a more regular basis.

Rest and Recovery

When you've participated in a strenuous workout, such as endurance running or weightlifting, giving your body a day to recover can help you come back stronger. Continuing strenuous exercise when your muscles and joints are sore could result in injury. Still, just because you engaged in high-impact exercise doesn't mean you should automatically skip your next workout. Interspersing days of high-impact training with days of lower-impact exercise methods can help you stay healthy, on track and injury-free.

Staying Motivated

When you've worked out recently, it can be tempting to allow yourself to take a day or two to avoid the gym and participate in other hobbies. But getting off track can make it difficult to get back on once again. Making exercise part of your daily routine is what turns it from a daily annoyance into a daily habit. Stay motivated by setting easy-to-achieve goals and offering yourself incentives. For instance, if you go to the gym every day for a week, you get a pedicure or a new top. This helps you get your foot in the door even when you don't necessarily feel like working out.

Exercise Alternatives

Even if you don't feel like going to the gym, it doesn't mean you have to do without exercise altogether. On days where you're tempted to skip a workout, plan another physical activity instead. Whether it's a pickup game of volleyball at the beach, a hike or even parking far away from you building, it doesn't have to be formal to be exercise. By making a conscious effort to move your body more, you'll be able to squeeze in exercise on days where your motivation is lacking.

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