When to Skip the Gym, When to Work Out Anyway | NBC New York
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When to Skip the Gym, When to Work Out Anyway

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It took you awhile, but now you're hitting the gym regularly and are positively addicted. You feel great, you're seeing the results, and you're clinging religiously to your new routine.

    But then comes a day when you feel empty and exhausted, and you find yourself weighing whether to go on in to work. You've been on a roll and don't want to ruin your streak, but you're feeling totally drained -- should you try to tough it out?

    It depends. There are some situations where you should forge ahead and get it done -- but others where you're better off laying back and relaxing.

    Try consulting this list from That's Fit to gauge whether you should be lacing up your sneakers:

    You have a hangover. Scale back the workout and do some low-key cardio, drinking plenty of fluids the entire way. If you're feeling especially miserable, just make it a rest day.

    You're sore from your last workout. If you're feeling the discomfort in your muscles, and not in your joints, it's okay to hit up the gym -- just try a different exercise that targets different muscles. "[I]f you're sore from weightlifting, try some light cardio or yoga," a clinical and sports psychologist tells That's Fit. "If running was the culprit, give cycling or the elliptical trainer a go."

    You're under the weather. If you're congested from a cold, light exercise can help. If you have a cough or fever, it's best to sit it out until the illness passes.

    You just ate. Don't plan on exercising on a full stomach, but if you happened to have eaten just before exercising, a low-intensity workout is fine. Skip anything more strenuous than walking or easy cycling.

    It's that time of the month. Exercising can actually relieve period-related symptoms, and performance generally isn't affected during any of the phases of a woman's menstural cycle. If you're going through a heavy cycle, adjust the intensity of your session based on your energy level.

    You're pregnant. If you've been active up until your pregnancy, keep on it. If you haven't been active up until this point, Otherwise, now isn't the time to start ramping up the intensity. And once you reach the third trimester, avoid doing any exercises while lying flat on your back: "The increased weight of your uterus in that position presses on the major vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart," a doctor tells That's Fit.

    You have a minor injury. If the injury is limited to a cetain body part, avoid stressing them while maintaining other forms of exercise. But if ice, anti-inflammatories and rest don't help, see your doctor. Ignoring the pain and aggravating it could become a long-term hindrance.

    You're stressed about an upcoming event. "The consensus on this is a resounding yes!," says Woman's Day. A good workout will help reduce anxiety -- you just have to find the right workout to do just that, whether it's calming yoga or high-intensity cardio.

    [That's Fit]