skip workout when you're exhausted

Photo: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock

5 of 5

NEXT

SLIDESHOW

The Potentially Valid Excuse: You Treat Every Gym Session as a Personal Challenge

You should absolutely skip your workout if: Any of these sound familiar: workouts that would normally be challenging feel impossible lately, your muscles are perpetually sore, you're experiencing sleep disturbances or your resting heart rate feels higher than normal. These are all symptoms of overtraining syndrome, says Dr. Olson.
The reason: Your body is waving the white flag. It's not just elite athletes who experience overtraining syndrome, says Dr. Olson. If you dramatically increase the intensity or length of your workouts and try to sustain or surpass that level at every subsequent session (instead of, say, pushing yourself on Monday's workout and taking it a little easier on Wednesday), it can happen to you, too.
When you can exercise again: Once your sleep returns to normal—that's a good indicator that your body is ready to work out.