Don't Let The Guilt Get To You When You Skip A Workout

Establishing a solid workout routine that challenges you but also helps you feel strong and energized is an amazing thing. There are undoubtedly health benefits to moving your body on a regular basis. However, it's also essential to set realistic goals for yourself that align with the lifestyle you are trying to build.

While waking up at the crack of dawn to start an aesthetic morning routine before hitting the gym at 6 a.m. is admirable, it is likely not sustainable for everyone. You have unique needs that may shift depending on the season of life you are in. Learning how to balance your mental, emotional, and physical wellness can feel like an art form at times, but it is extremely important.

Oftentimes, forcing yourself to go to the gym when you're completely exhausted can actually be counterproductive. While exercise has been touted as a great way to manage stress, forcing yourself to work out when you are not in the right headspace can lead to burnout. Therefore, giving your body a break by taking a workout hiatus shouldn't come with any guilt.

Exercise is not a punishment

Working out can do wonders for your mental health, but it can also be a detriment if you are not in the right mindset. Many people who don't feel like working out treat a gym session as a punishment because they either regret their diet choices that day or believe they are lazy for opting out. However, it's important to know that hating your body into great shape is a recipe for disaster, and viewing movement as a form of discipline can actually harm other aspects of your well-being. Instead, focusing on how to make your workout benefits last longer actually involves balance.

According to Insider, exercise is an amazing tool that should be used to support your mental health, but it starts with acknowledging your motivation. This self-awareness can help you avoid working out because you will feel guilty if you don't and instead remind you of all the ways it is an act of self-love.

Ideally, movement should be something that supports you in all areas of wellness. Trainer Kelsey Wells explained to Insider that you should never prioritize your workout routine above your mental health. Wells also notes that when you internalize "toxic ideologies" and view exercise through a lens of shame or "as a punishment," it can actually restrict the typical support it provides to your mental health.

Focus on a healthy mindset

It can be easy to view a sterile gym as an unappealing place, especially when it feels like pulling teeth to get yourself through those doors. However, workouts can be extremely individualized and crafted to fit your specific needs. If you love the fresh air, going on a brisk walk after work or even a scenic hike on the weekends can be the ultimate act of self-care. Alternatively, home workouts are a great option for those who don't like the production of going to a gym or prefer a more private environment.

The goal of a workout is to show your body love and receive some of the positive exercise endorphins. While reducing stress, increasing happiness, and improving your health are some of the many benefits that usually accompany a workout, focusing on intentionality will help these positive results come to fruition. If you feel like your body needs rest instead of physical activity, learning to embrace this balance will set you free.

According to The Balanced Berry, overcoming exercise guilt centers around giving your body what it actually needs. In addition to resting physically, ask yourself why skipping a workout will serve you and what else you may be craving. This may look like quality time with friends, trying a new hobby, or even getting your favorite meal and watching a movie. Overall wellness involves all aspects of your being. Therefore, recognizing workouts as just one aspect of your journey will help you keep a healthy, balanced mindset.