There is certainly nothing wrong with pushing through a bit of pain or fatigue, but sometimes there are good reasons to stop exercising.
Many times the days you do not feel like working out are the days that can be most beneficial to your progress. Overcoming fatigue and pain can make you stronger.
On the other hand, a little rest may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Learn when to push and when to take a break below.
It’s possible and sometimes even desirable to work out while sick. A good sweat can actually help you heal. But working out when ill can have negative effects, too, especially if continued exercise might make you even sicker. The general rule of thumb is if your symptoms are above the neck, a workout can still be beneficial. If the symptoms are below the neck, get some rest. With a sore throat, congestion or a runny nose, feel free to hit the gym. For fever, upset stomach or chest congestion, take a day off and get some rest.
Another time to relax in the cave instead of hitting the gym is when you are seeing symptoms of over training. Some common signs of this include loss of leanness while increasing exercise, getting sick more often than normal, soreness extending for multiple days after a big workout and when joints begin hurting. Muscle growth occurs during rest times between workouts, so don’t overdo a good thing.
While somewhat obvious, avoiding workouts when injured is the best bet. This will allow the body to focus a majority of its healing powers on the injury. Of course, working out around an injury is possible, too. The key is to avoid the affected area completely. If you feel any pain there, stop the exercise. An easy way to avoid the injured area is to work only the half of the body that does not have an injury. With a lower body injury, for example, take time to focus more on the upper body and vice versa. For back injuries, however, it may be best to completely rest for a while.
One way to know if you need to avoid exercise for a bit is if your performance is continually low. Perhaps you have not been able to reach your max levels for a bit or cannot make your typical times; your body is telling you something. Listen to it. Try changing your workout routine, and if that has no effect, know when it is time to take a break.
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