What Happens to Your Body When You Skip Workouts

Fitness // Louise McDonald

Occasionally skipping a workout is needed – and recommended – when you’re feeling unwell, or heading towards overtraining. A rest day every week is also an essential part of 12WBT’s program!

However, taking too many days off can be detrimental to your overall approach to success, and it’s important to get real about what is going on for you before you make your decision whether to ditch the gym.

Here are some of the side effects to skipping your exercise:

Reduced endorphins

When we exercise we produce hormones, right through from happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin (which is what creates that euphoric feeling that you get during and following a session) to hormones that regulate the thyroid, insulin, growth hormone and adrenaline.

Missing your exercise allows room for these levels to be far lower than they could be. This means you may notice a lower mood.

Less calories burnt

It goes without saying that when our bodies stop, things begin to slow down.

Skipping your workout doesn’t mean that your entire metabolic rate will grind to an immediate halt, but you’re missing out on all of those great calories that can be burned both during your session and post-workout.

Staying sedentary is not conducive to an effective metabolism in most people, so keep moving to keep burning!

Sleep disturbances

Exercise plays a huge role in sleep, so to miss training may mean that your sleep pattern is somewhat disturbed.

The hormones released during a workout directly affect how we sleep, so skip too many sessions and you will experience lower levels of restful feelings – or even agitation.

Negative emotions

This is a massive factor to take into consideration and one that can undo much of your progress.

When you miss workouts, you’re more likely going to question whether or not you should have, and then you’ll feel guilty and lose confidence.

All of these things work closely to offer a cloudy headspace around your choices, progress and can disempower positive changes.

Missing goals

Your goals are within reach based on following a plan, so if you skip too many workouts these goalposts will shift backwards.

Lack of motivation

Between feeling guilty, tired and slightly down, your motivation will also take a hit if you skip too many sessions.

We all know how the story goes once negative self-talk starts!

Poor food choices

It’s a fact that exercising regularly keeps things much tidier in regards to your decisions around food.

You’re much more likely to stick to your plans, correct portions sizes and regular meal timings when you exercise.

Weight gain

With the decreased amount of motivation, cortisol levels perhaps increasing, less sleep or disturbed patterns and fickle food choices, it’s obvious that this can lead to weight gain, fluid retention and emotional overeating.

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