Missing a workout: Is it okay or am I lazy?

Let me just preface this blog post with the following statement.

We are all human.

I can admit I f*ck up and miss a workout at least once a week. I’m sure you can all relate to the absolute struggle to get out of that comfy bed only to fall back asleep and wake up with too little time to get in the workout originally planned. Next thing you know, it’s time to get ready for work and get on with your day without your daily morning sweat sesh.

Then, the guilt sets in. “I am a piece of shit for missing my workout. Why am I so lazy? I’m never going to get visible abs or achieve my goals missing my workouts like this. Everyone is getting their workout in and I’m over here f*cking up. Is there something wrong with me?”

Stop those voices in your head. Right now. 

The past year, I’ve challenged myself physically more than ever before. Over the past 6 months, I’ve run 3 half marathons and am currently in training to run the Marine Corps Marathon this October. On top of that, I have a full time job that requires 50+ hours of my time each week, time on weekends, and relationships with family and friends that I make a conscious effort to balance.

As you can imagine with Marathon training, it’s pretty strenuous. You practically run a half marathon (or more) each weekend, 3-4 other 3-5 mile runs throughout the week and it’s recommended to incorporate some other kind of cross training like spinning or resistance training to your weekly workout regimen. That’s 5-7 workouts a week, so you have to be pretty dedicated to get yourself up and at em when you’re tired both physically and mentally.

No, this blog post isn’t a pity party, but I’m trying to share something I’ve learned through this experience so far. It’s called a fitness journey for a reason. There will be ups, there will be downs, and there will be many challenges (and successes) along the way. Just remember this. There is not one soul on this planet who hasn’t missed a workout at least once.

I think it’s safe to say we’re all a little hard on ourselves sometimes. 

When you miss a workout, I think it’s best to just simply ask yourself one thing. What happened? Was I super sore from my ass kicking of a workout yesterday and my body was just tired? Did I work a 12 hour day yesterday? Did I have one too many at happy hour last night?

No matter the reason, finding the “culprit” has always been a good first step to cure my guilt. I’m not saying blame every workout you miss on something, I’m saying find the cause so you can work on it. When I miss a workout, it’s typically because I put my body into overdrive the day before and it helps to assure myself my body needed the rest anyways.

So now what? 

Ultimately, you can either let yourself missing a workout get you down, or you can make the best of it. Here are some ideas for ways to help ease the guilt and turn your day around into a fairly healthy and active day after all.

  1. Drink up. No, I don’t mean at happy hour. Drink at least 64 ounces of water throughout the day. Technically, you should drink 67% of your body weight each day, however 64 ounces is a good start.
  2. Meditate. Spend 10 minutes in a quiet space resetting your mind. This one is great if you’re feeling especially stressed out from missing your workout. Meditation has a number of health benefits too!
  3. Eat Clean. If you can’t get a workout in at all, just make healthy eating choices. Many people use missing a workout as an excuse to eat whatever junk food their heart desires, but you should be most food conscious on the days you miss a workout.
  4. Get Moving. Get in 10,000 steps throughout the day. Make a conscious effort to walk much more than typical days. Get up from your desk every hour and go up and down stairs or take a lap around your office building. Just move!
  5. Stretch. Stretching is an exercise too! Just because you didn’t drench your tank top doesn’t mean you didn’t “workout.” Just take at least 5-10 minutes to stretch your muscles. Chances are, if you missed a workout, your body is probably calling for a nice stretch sesh to relieve your muscles.

Overall, just remember that a rockin’ body isn’t made at the gym, it’s made from the positive, health conscious choices made throughout the day. I used to get so upset at myself every time I told myself I would wake up and do a certain workout only to sleep through my alarm. I can tell you first hand, as soon as I stopped caring about it so much, I realized how much the stress and guilt wasn’t worth it.

Make sure you’re not beating yourself up over missing a workout. Life goes on. There are plenty of choices left in your day that you’ll encounter that you can make up for it. Lesson of the day: Life’s too short to get caught up stressing over the little things.