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  • Writer's pictureAnatomy Of Fitness

When Should We NOT Workout?

Exercising or working out may not always be good for our health. Sometimes instead of helping us perform better, the workout itself becomes detrimental to our health. Missing out on the workout session, peer pressure, fear of losing the habit of exercising, a decline in performance, exercise addiction etc., are some of the reasons that may force us to workout. There are several times when we are required to rest & recuperate our mind and body. For example, when we are injured, sick, tired, stressed, etc., it's best not to workout. Rest ensures we are prepared better for the next workout session. To say it bluntly, it isn't genius to continue working out when the mind or body is not ready to support the workouts. If we continue to exercise, we will aggravate the stress, injury, disease, etc., or cause irreparable damage or even death in extreme cases. Let us look at when should we not workout.


Any injury is painful, and unlike a soldier on the battlefield, we have the option to skip working out. When injured, the body needs rest to recover from the injury. If we workout when injured, it may aggravate the injury or cause discomfort elsewhere. After recovering, remember to check with your doctor for the dos and don'ts during exercise. It is best to recover from the injury, talk to your doctor, and start working out only if the doctor permits you to do so.


Just like injury causes pain, sickness also causes discomfort. Illness could be in the form of flu, cough, fever, stomach upset etc. When sick, our body is under attack and needs to defend itself. Our body is better capable of supporting itself when resting. Working out when sick may flare up the sickness, eventually taking more time for recovery. It is essential to check with your doctor before beginning workouts, and it is vital for recovering from the illness before restarting exercise.


Diseases like HIV, cancer, hypertension etc., are very taxing for the body. Such deadly diseases require continuous medical diagnosis and subject the body to lots of stress. If you are diagnosed with such a life-threatening disease, it is best to check with your doctor if working out is a good idea or not. Never workout without checking with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with a disease.

#4 MENTAL Stress:

Daily life activities and certain events put a lot of mental stress on us. Everyday activities like multiple meetings at the office, looking after kids, driving in traffic etc. and specific events like financial crises, family problems, death of someone close etc., subject the mind to tremendous stress. Mental stress makes it difficult to keep our focus. Working out during these times will further increase the pressure and may lead to accidents. Therefore, it is essential to recover from mental stress before working out.

#5 PHYSICAL Stress:

Just like mental stress, physical stress can also affect our workouts. Incomplete recovery from a previous activity, inadequate rest after a personal record, minimal recovery after a strenuous trek etc., can put a lot of pressure and increase physical stress. We need to fully recover from the physical stress before working out so that our body supports us during exercise. Never workout if you feed physically stressed.


It's best always to avoid alcohol & recreational drugs. These substances are detrimental to our bodies and severely affect our decision-making capabilities. They also affect the ability to focus and make the otherwise easy tasks like walking, sitting, picking up objects etc., very difficult. Never even think of working out when drunk or when on recreational drugs.


Your doctor knows your medical history, the conditions you suffer from, and the medications you are on. If your doctor has advised against working out, do not workout. Maybe the medical condition you are suffering from will cause injury when working out, or perhaps the medications will make you feel drowsy; your doctor knows it the best. Never workout against doctors advice.


When we sleep, our body recuperates and recovers. Typically, we go through several cycles of rapid eye movement sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep. Getting 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep is essential for our survival & performance. For any reason, if you feel you are sleep deprived, it is best to skip working out. It will only help the body recover faster. Do not workout when sleep deprived.

Here's a blog to get the most of your sleep: ­­10 proven tips for Better Sleep.


Workout releases feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine etc., that act like natural pain killers & uplift mood. Such feel-good hormones help trigger an addictive positive feeling in the mind, eventually leading to exercise addiction. Any addiction, including exercise addiction, is terrible. Exercise addicts will exercise come whatever. If you feel like working out just for experiencing the positive feeling, please stop exercising and seek the help of a deaddiction counsellor.

Exercise addiction can be lethal. Here's a blog to understand exercise addiction in detail: What is Exercise Addiction?


This reason is more to do with planning & common sense. If we have something important coming up, we need to plan our workouts around it to avoid missing exercise. However, if there is no way to adjust the timing of our workout sessions, we can skip them. Weigh the pros & cons to decide what is crucial for you. For example, you may be getting married, having an important meeting/ interview, shifting between houses, attending a funeral etc. It is okay to ditch working out for something more important than exercising. After all, workouts should help you without routinely causing severe disruptions in your schedule. It is okay to skip training once in a while when you need to attend a more significant event.

We hope the article helped in understanding when we should not workout.

#workout #exercise #recovery #rest #recouperation #sleep #stress

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