When you’re not in a regular workout schedule, it can be hard to get into the groove and start a workout regimen. But when you’re a regular exerciser, it can be tough to take a break. This is usually a good thing, as the more you stick with a habit the more likely it is to become second nature and a part of your lifestyle. Unfortunately, my body has forced me on two recent occasions to take a break against my will.First, there was what I’ve diagnosed as a stress fracture in my foot. Whether it’s actually that or not, the fact is that walking began to hurt like crazy. As I noted previously, it’s not that I’ve over-trained or anything of that sort, it’s my poor choice of footwear that did it. And because I know I actually don’t have a major problem (trust me, I’m at the doc if I think anything’s remotely seriously wrong, as you’ll see in a second), I’ve just had to force myself to take it easy. This has included faithfully wearing supportive shoes, walking as my cardio, and keeping my feet firmly planted on the floor when doing high impact workouts. It’s hard to take intensity down a notch, but I was at least able to keep moving.
Until I came down with the 3-day migraine from hell. It started on a Tuesday night with the oh-so-fun auras that precede the headache. I went back and forth between the blinding auras and severe pain, making it pretty much impossible to work, let alone work out. When it wasn’t gone by Thursday morning and I was actually woken up from pain at 4:30 a.m., I started getting a little concerned. When it finally went away and I was back to my normal self (armed with drugs after a trip to the doc in case of a future episode), I was complaining to my hubby that I hadn’t worked out all week. He looked at me like I was crazy, and he was right. If I couldn’t manage to get out of bed or even sit at my desk for most of three days, how on earth was I supposed to put in more physical exertion? Lesson learned: Sometimes you have no choice but to give yourself a break.
So, while it’s commendable to push through mild soreness, fatigue and workout boredom, you must allow yourself a break, especially if you have a genuine issue, like the flu, a muscle pull, sprain, loss of limb or sanity.