Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? You will probably say, sure, we all have. But what do we mean by this? I suppose we mean, we did not feel quite right, or things did not go smoothly that day. If you exercise or workout for a period of years, there will inevitably be days where you feel a little bit off, or not quite as strong or fast as you normally do. This is when you need to listen to your body and make good choices. I would not necessarily advocate skipping the workout. It would depend on how off you feel, and what you determine might be the cause of it. You can always moderate or adapt your workout to how you feel. Just don’t end up using this feeling as a chronic excuse to not do what you should be doing on a regular basis, which is exercising vigorously.
Feeling off can occur for a number of reasons: lack of sleep, injury, getting over being sick, working out to much the previous day, changing your workout style, a change in your diet, emotional distress over some aspect in your life, lack of adequate hydration, lack of rest, a change in the time of day that you work out, or a host of other reasons. When contending with this feeling there are two assessments to make and follow that are of primary importance. One is to access how you feel as you start to exercise and adapt your workout accordingly. Another is to see if you can figure out what might have been the cause of the feeling.
Assessment one is to prevent injury. You want to exercise in such a manner that it is productive rather than counter-productive. By exercising you are stressing the body moderately so that it will adapt and grow stronger. On a good day you can push the limits a bit more without risk of injury or adverse health effects. On an off day, you need to monitor yourself more carefully and make sure that you don’t push yourself over the line into injury or being counter-productive. Then there is the psychological aspect. It is important to start the workout with a positive mindset and complete the workout in a positive mindset, so that you will look forward to doing what is right for your body again. So on an off day, try to establish a positive mindset and ease into the routine gradually, building the intensity slowly while listening to your body’s feedback. Then tailor the workout to what your body and mind are telling you are acceptable level of intensity for that particular day.
Assessment two, assessing what might have caused you to feel off that day is important also. You want to eliminate this feeling in the future so that you will continue to want to exercise on a regular basis. By figuring out what has put a damper on things you prevent injuries and sickness. So think about the last couple of days before the workout and try to figure out what might have given you that feeling. Then try to eliminate it from your future lifestyle.
I hope that by applying these principles you can decrease your downtime and increase your productive workouts. If you ever have any medical related questions, I would recommend consulting your physician. But we can all learn a lot by listening to what our body is telling us and not pushing blindly ahead regardless of what is going on both inside and externally to ourselves.