No matter how hard it can be, sometimes you just have to take some time off from working out.
I am not by any means a fitness freak, but I really enjoy running and yoga. I love the feeling that a good workout leaves me with, and seeing myself improve and conquer new milestones is kickass. Unfortunately exercise is not always easy to incorporate into our lives and sometimes it has to go on the back-burner. This happened to me last week when I got sick (damn you cute little kids not washing your hands or covering your mouths!) While I was well enough to go to work – mostly because if you want a sick day in Korea you better be missing a limb – I decided not to go running.
We live right opposite this very nice river which has a park and running track alongside it. When I came here I had been slightly worried that I would give up running altogether with the excuse there was nowhere to run but once again Korea showed me up. I have been running three times a week since we got here, but last week I felt way to sick to go out on Tuesday so missed my run. Then I didn’t feel any better on Thursday so stayed in again, and this continued until it had been 9 days without a run. Yeah I know this is not much and that people have to takes much longer breaks than this, but it still annoyed me and I am sure that I am not the only one who would have been frustrated. I know deep down that I made the right decision for my health and all that, but part of me had huge exercise guilt. I was worried that 1) I would get into the habit of never running again and all my progress would be lost, and 2) I would get fat. Yeah that is stupid and girly and I am embarrassed to admit it, but gaining weight back that I had recently lost was a factor in my guilt.
I am sure that I am not the only one who feels guilty every time you miss a workout! But I have to say that as the week went on the shitty feeling went away and I am happy that I took the time off. It is really important to remember that we can’t always work out, maybe your job is crazy and is taking up a lot of your time, or friend/family commitments need to take priority. Don’t freak out, this is okay! If we let exercise become such an important factor of our lives then we are letting it run them. Working out should be something that you enjoy, not chore that needs to be crossed of a list.
Another important reason to miss a workout is health. This article in Runners world – http://www.runnersworld.com/health/should-you-run-when-youre-sick?page=single – recommends only running when sick if the symptoms are from your neck up and this is advice that I always keep in mind. Lat week I had a bad cough and chest, running would not have helped this and probably would have delayed my recovery. Likewise if you have an injury, taking time off is going to help you get better so that you can continue to have badass workouts in the future. Forcing exercise when you are hurt or unwell will only slow everything down in the long term and will probably lead to you not enjoying yourself as much.
Yeah I freaked out last week and felt guilty, but I think the idea of missing a workout is nowhere near as bad as the reality. Today I went for a run again and choose not to go as long as I normally do in order not to overdo it (still not feeling totally better yet). It was good, I didn’t get fat and my legs still work.
We are pretty awesome people for exercising in the first place, lets not allow guilt to get us down.