Skip to content

Is It OK to Skip a Workout If You’re Tired?

    The temptation of skipping workouts can happen to anyone, even the best athletes. Sometimes, you’re just feeling lazy, and you only want to skip a day because you’re “just a bit tired” or “forgot to pack your gym clothes!” However, there are occasions where you need to listen to your body.

    You should skip a workout if you’re sleep-deprived, sick, injured, extremely tired or sore, stressed, hungry, or hungover. You should also postpone your workout session if you’ve had a dermatology treatment, a tattoo, or a spray tan. Do the same if you’re sunburnt and let your skin heal before heading back to the gym. 

    Continue reading to find out when it’s best to skip and how to motivate yourself better when you don’t have a legitimate reason to do so.

    When Should You Allow Yourself to Skip Workouts?

    You’re Sleep-Deprived

    Exercising is a way of prioritizing your health, but so is a good night’s sleep. Working out isn’t a smart choice if you’re super tired and sleep-deprived because your body won’t have the energy to perform as it should, and you’ll risk a bigger chance of injuring yourself.

    If you’ve been getting less than five hours of sleep, it’s time to give your body some rest and hit the sack instead of the gym. In this case, sleeping will be just as beneficial as exercising.

    You’re Ill

    Putting your body through the stress of exercising when it’s already low on energy due to an illness isn’t the right decision. 

    If you have a fever because your body is fighting the flu or any other type of infection, stay in bed. Your body temperature will be higher than usual, and working out will lead to further dehydration. The fever will also boost your resting heart rate, and your workout session will be less effective due to low performance.

    If you have a common cold, it’ll be best to skip working out for the first few days. However, nasal congestion, a running nose, and sore throat shouldn’t keep you from exercising. 

    In fact, working out might even help you beat the illness sooner. Still, It’s best to keep the intensity to a minimum and replace your workouts with walking or jogging until you’ve fully recovered.

    If you have shortness of breath or a severe cough, skip exercising. During the first few days of illness, you’ll be contagious, so you should stay out of the gym to avoid making other people sick. 

    Plus, your immunity system will be at its weakest, and it can’t take any other germs that you may get from the gym. So even if you decide to exercise, do it from home.

    If you’ve had an asthma flare-up due to a respiratory infection, skip exercising until you’re better. Start working out slowly and stop if you can’t catch your breath or feel weak.

    You’re Injured

    Being injured and in pain is a sign to take things slow. When a muscle is in pain, exercising and movements can put too much stress on the damaged tissue and prevent healing. 

    Damaged muscles get inflamed and therefore change the way the attached joints function. So, you’ll also be risking further injury and damaging other muscles and joints.

    Stay at home until you completely heal and prevent causing permanent damage. Here’s how you can avoid workout injuries when strength training.

    You’re Extremely Exhausted or Sore

    If you’ve been exercising intensely two or more days in a row and you wake up the next day with severe soreness, you’ve pushed yourself too hard. It’s best to take a day off and let your body recover.

    When you do high-intensity workouts, your muscle tissue gets damaged, and you’ll need enough time to heal and build stronger muscles. You need to learn to adjust the intensity of your workout routine and mix a low to moderate session in between hard workouts.

    Take a day off each week to give your body the recovery time it needs. Find out if it’s better to exercise every day or every other day.

    If you’re a gym newbie and you’ve been feeling sore every other day, it’s normal. Push through the pain and adjust the intensity to a level you’re comfortable with until your body gets used to your new routine.

    Sometimes, your body is just exhausted after a day of being physically active. It’s justified to skip your additional routine if the day was an exception.

    You’re Stressed

    If your schedule has been overloaded and you’ve been feeling stressed, you may be feeling like skipping your workout. However, for most people, exercising releases endorphins in the body, which is a mood booster and will make you feel more relaxed afterward. So, think about that before you decide to stay at home. 

    Happy chemicals

    However, too much exercise increases heart rate, which puts extra stress on the body. So, if you’re on the verge of a breakdown, you want to give your body a break. You can take a day off and relax or replace your intense exercises with walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga.

    Check out these tips for a good workout plan for someone who is extremely busy.

    If what’s stressing you is going to the crowded gym, then don’t! There are multiple other ways you can get a good workout. Go for a run, a hike, or a bike ride. Stay at home and do some yoga. If you want some calorie-blasting and strength training exercises, check out the best home gyms under $1000 that are worth buying.

    You’ve Completed A Marathon

    If you’ve completed a strenuous athletic workout that you’ve been training for, like a race or marathon, you need to let your body rest. Going through long periods of intense exercise pushes the body’s stress level to its limits. So, the longer you’ve worked your body, the longer your recovery time should last.

    Your Skin Isn’t in Its Normal Condition

    Your skin experiences irritation and friction while working out. So, if your skin isn’t in its normal condition, you’ll be in pain and risk injuring yourself. Here are the circumstances where you can skip your workouts:

    • You had a treatment: If you had an injectable treatment such as Botox or fillers or gone through micro-needling or laser treatments, your skin surface has been damaged temporarily, and it’s best to put off working out and sweating until it’s healed.
    • You had a tattoo: Sweat won’t hurt a fresh tattoo, but friction will. Depending on the size and place of your tattoo, you can either skip the workout or low-intensity activities until it heals. Also, be careful of infections that can come from the gym.
    • You’re sunburnt: When you’re extremely sunburnt, exercising will be irritating and painful. Plus, being sunburnt increases the risk of overheating, imbalance of electrolytes and body fluids. So, rest a couple of days, stay hydrated, and use soothing creams.
    • You had a spray tan: If you sweat with a fresh spray tan, you’ll be left with a messy look. Wait the correct number of hours depending on the type of spray tan, take a shower, rinse off the color evenly, and then exercise.

    You’re Very Hungry

    It might not seem like an excellent reason to some, but being hungry is a legitimate reason to skip or at least delay a workout session. 

    Food is fuel, and your body won’t perform well when it’s hungry. You shouldn’t skip your meals the day you have to work out even if you’re busy

    If you feel super hungry, eat a light meal that preferably consists of protein, waits for a while for your body to digest it, and then do your workout. Plan a healthy and nutritious meal after the gym, consisting of protein and carbohydrates.

    You’re Hungover

    You need to take it easy after a night out because overworking your body can hurt your head and even lead to injuries. Skip the challenging exercise for a day, and replace it with a long walk or similarly light activities. A little movement increases circulation, and you’ll end up feeling better.

    Learn how to get rid of hangovers quickly with these proven foods and drinks.

    What to Do If You Find Yourself Postponing Workouts Often?

    If you don’t have a legitimate reason for skipping a workout, but you’re still tempted to skip a day, you can be excused if you’re an avid exerciser.

    However, if you’ve just started exercising and you find yourself putting off going to the gym often, you’ll have to push through the urge. Here are a couple of methods to get yourself through the temptation:

    Do Some Low-Impact Workouts Instead

    If you don’t want to go through an intense, cardio-heavy workout, or don’t have time for a whole session, replace your workout with a short, low-impact, and effective one.

    Go for a walk, run, or hike. Go biking, rollerblading, or take a dip in the pool. Some whole-body exercises at home, like jumping jacks, push-ups, lunges, and squats, can also help. Yoga is one of your best options when you’re tired.

    Find out the best way to change your workout routine, so you enjoy it more.

    Reward Yourself for Going Through with a Workout

    Rewarding yourself for completing a workout can go a long way towards motivation. It could be a hot bath or a delicious healthy snack when you get back. You could schedule a massage or a night out with friends. Get yourself new workout equipment and clothes. Check out this two-pieces workout outfit for women and these men’s shorts to get some ideas. You deserve it!

    Jetjoy Exercise Outfits for Women 2 Pieces Ribbed Seamless Yoga Outfits Sports Bra and Leggings Set Tracksuits 2 Piece
    • Material: 87%nylon +13% spandex,Seamless, Four-way stretch fabric,Ribbed.
    • Fashion trend inspiration - Those fitness outfits featuring a super soft and skin-friendly material, and fashionable color. Jetjoy sports clothes with several beautiful colors to match your closet for a modern and effortless fashion, these solid color pants and bras were soft to touch, you will look cute in these vibrant colors.

    Champion Men's Long Mesh Short With Pockets,Black,XX-Large
    • Lightweight, breathable mesh fabric
    • Internal quickcord for adjustability

    Think About Your Goals and How This Workout Affects Them

    Think about how you’ll feel a couple of hours after you’ve skipped your workout. You’ll probably feel guilty and wish you’d made a different choice. Think of exercising as a commitment you make every day and consider the consequences of skipping. Remember your goals and set new ones if they’re not intimidating enough.

    Remind yourself that exercising will give you more energy, help you concentrate better and get more things done, and improve your confidence.

    Smart goals

    Find Ways to Make Your Workout More Fun

    Motivate yourself and have something to look forward to when it comes to working out. It can be anything from creating yourself a new playlist, working out with a friend, or having a long warm-up and cool-down.

    Think of Ways to Make Up for Your Missed Workout

    If you want to postpone your workout, change your schedule correctly and make plans to make up for it as soon as possible.


    You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you want to skip a workout every once in a while, especially if you go to the gym often and live a busy life. Guilt and stress can have negative effects on your body. 

    If you find that you’re trying to get out of exercising often, try to find the issue. Maybe you don’t like your gym or your workout routine has become boring. Maybe your body can’t handle the pressure, or maybe you just need a little nudge. Try to motivate yourself and seek help from friends or professionals if possible. 

    Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    I accept the Privacy Policy