Don’t Let Exercise Guilt Get to You

Don’t Let Exercise Guilt Get to You

Exercise guilt is feeling guilty about skipping a workout or taking extra time off from your workout routine. Sometimes you’re just tired and need to take a day off. Maybe you have a nagging injury that’s keeping you out of the gym. Do you feel guilty about it?

If you suffer from exercise guilt you don’t take the time you need without feeling guilty about it. Guilt is an emotion based on a negative outcome from something you did or didn’t do. We feel guilty about doing the “wrong” thing or failing to do the “right” thing. Regarding exercise, we think it’s wrong to miss a workout. We think we’re not going to reach our goals if we don’t adhere to a strict routine. We feel like extra days off make us weak or undisciplined.

Most people will feel guilty about not exercising at all.  If you simply don’t exercise and feel like you should there’s going to be some guilt. Exercise guilt is more about people who exercise but feel guilty about not adhering to a strict regimen. Skipping a workout creates feelings of guilt and anxiety. Thoughts of “I’m going to get fat” or “I’m going to be weaker” creep in.

The reality is the body needs rest.  It needs to recuperate from exercise sessions.  Recuperation is every bit as important as exercise itself.  Overtraining is when you exercise without enough recuperation. The body breaks down and doesn’t heal. Sometimes you need to take an extra day to rest and recuperate. If you have an injury you may need to take more time.

The key is to find the right amount of exercise for you. Here’s some things to think about:

  1. Be Consistent

Work at being consistent with your exercise.  Over the course of a week you want to make all your workouts. Over the course of a few months, skipping a workout here and there isn’t going to hurt you. Be consistent over the long run and your exercise will pay off. Identify the things that would keep you from being consistent and deal with them. Figure out how to get your schedule organized so you make your workouts consistently.

  1. Be Well Rounded

It’s not just the exercise that’s important. Other things are critical to success such as nutrition, stretching, recuperation, sleep and stress. Even if you make 100% of your workouts you can limit your progress if you don’t have a well-rounded regimen. If you eat poorly, results from exercise are going to be limited. Your exercise will also suffer if you don’t recuperate from your workouts.

  1. Listen to Your Body

Learn what your body needs. Experiment and try different things. It takes time to learn about our bodies and understand what’s needed to feel our best. We aren’t going to feel great all the time, but we can find a balance. If you feel overtired, take a day off. Or even two. There’s no need for guilt if you are overdoing it. Be aware of how your body feels throughout the day. Prepare for your workouts and plan on getting a good night’s sleep. Plan ahead and give your body the best chance at feeling great.

  1. Remember It’s a Journey

It’s not just exercise.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s how you think and feel about yourself and the positive things a healthy lifestyle brings. If you take a long-term attitude about your health and fitness and give up the short-term anxieties, you enjoy your exercise more. You don’t get the pressure from skipping a workout or even taking a week off. You realize that in the long term proper rest and recuperation are essential. You’re committed to a wonderful journey of health and fitness and it’s not about getting it 100% right all the time.