We all have those days when it’s a struggle to get up and go to the gym. When you don’t feel like working out, you make up every excuse in the book to stay home. Other times, you tell yourself that you have to go to the gym, when you really should be resting your body. But how can you tell when it’s time to get off your butt or stay in bed?

You Should Work Out If You’re Feeling

Stressed out


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With research papers, essays, and exams taking up all of your time, the last thing on your mind is getting in a good workout. You’re stressed enough as is, how can you possibly get to the gym when it takes a week’s worth of motivation to even leave your bed?

Turns out, stepping away from the computer and onto the treadmill might be the best thing for you when bogged down with school work. Exercise pumps endorphins, improves your mood, and gives you a chance to take a well-needed break so you can work more efficiently.



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Ever had one of those days when you just need to punch something to get all of your anger and frustration out? Instead of damaging a wall or someone else’s face, exercise is an extremely therapeutic alternative. Just as exercise relieves stress, the endorphins released during a workout also combat anger. It might just be me, but most of my best workouts happen when I have some underlying angst pushing me to go harder.

Like you just got your period


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No matter how bad your fatigue, bloating, or cramping gets, it is always a good idea to workout while on your period. Not only does exercise relieve cramps, but it also causes the release of endorphins to give you even further pain relief.



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So you had a little too much fun last night and now you’re paying the price. Instead of downing coffee or eating a ton of greasy food, go to the gym. Exercise causes you to sweat, which in turn releases toxins that you’ve built up in your body from drinking. Just be sure to take extra precautions as when you are hungover. You are most likely dehydrated, and your hangover can get worse if you push yourself too hard and forget to drink water.

Like it’s been a long week


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You’ve managed to get through what felt like the longest week of your life, so naturally you want to reward yourself by lying on the couch and ordering takeout. Instead, get a quick workout in. Not only will exercise give you more energy, but it will also relieve the stress of the week and put you in a better mood to kick off your weekend the right way.

You Shouldn’t Work Out If You’re Feeling



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If you wake up but you can hardly move from soreness, reset your alarm and go back to bed. Your muscles grow when you rest, so the best thing you can do for yourself is let your body heal. After all, you must have had a pretty intense sweat sesh the day before to feel this way. If you feel you need to do a little something, look for a low-impact alternative like walking, yoga, or pilates.



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When you’re sick, your body is working overtime to fight off the infection. Do yourself a favor and take the day off. It’s better to rest up, recover, and have a killer workout the next day then it is to go to the gym, be unable to breath, and have a crappy workout that puts you in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.

Bothered by an old injury


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So that back pain from your field hockey injury has resurfaced? Don’t just shrug it off and assume it will go away with time. Take a break and get it checked out. Best case scenario, it’s nothing and you can return to your exercise regime tomorrow. In the event that it is something more serious, working out will only make the recovery process longer. Believe me, I’ve been there.

While you’re deciding between going to the gym or going back to sleep, always choose the option that will make you the happiest. If you have to drag yourself to the gym, chances are you won’t be getting in a good workout. Always put your happiness before anything else.