It’s normal to feel guilty about missing the occasional workout. It’s especially true if you’re making excuses. Sometimes, though, you really do need to skip a workout.

Consistency is a critical part of maintaining your fitness.  “Use it or lose it” is a reality. If you don’t keep up with your workouts your performance will suffer. Unfortunately, it’s easy to take this attitude too far. Too much of a good thing can also cause problems.

It’s important to find a healthy balance between too much and not enough. Sometimes you really do need to miss a workout or two. Here’s a few times when its perfectly ok to miss a workout.

  1. Not enough sleep

There are times when you don’t get enough sleep and you’re body is tired and worn out. Perhaps you’ve had trouble sleeping because of unforeseen circumstances or stress. It happens. There’s no guarantee you’re going to sleep well every night. When you don’t get enough sleep you become tired and at risk for injury. What’s better? Taking off a workout or two and protecting yourself? Or powering through workouts when you’re tired and possibly injuring yourself? Injuries can take a lot longer to heal than a few night’s sleep.

  1. Bigger priorities

Life sometimes has a tendency of getting in the way of your workouts. Sometimes you have other priorities you have to manage and you can’t take the time for a workout. Granted, you want to manage these priorities so you can get your workout in but sometimes you just can’t. If you’re travelling for business, for example, you may miss a day’s workout because of the time it takes to get to your destination. If you’re a parent with sick kids you know what it’s like to miss workouts. Hey, sometimes it happens.

  1. You get sick

Getting sick is a good reason to miss workouts. If you have a fever, coughing, fatigue, or aches and pains, chances are you’re not going to want to work out. Even the common cold can get severe enough you don’t feel like working out. People working out in the gym don’t want to hear you sniffling and coughing either. You can spread your illness easily in a gym.  Gyms are a breeding ground for illness. If you’re sick, stay home and get better. You don’t need to hurt yourself or get other people sick.

  1. Mental health

There’s nothing wrong with taking a mental health break. Some days you need to shut down and protect yourself. If this means taking off a workout then so be it. Stress at work or at home can take a big toll on your health and well-being. Take the day off and reset your priorities. Think through your issues and come back stronger. It’s better to take the time you need and get back to being one-hundred percent!