Maybe you haven’t been to the gym in awhile. We get it. Life gets insanely busy. Family, friends, travel, and work all take higher priority than working out sometimes, right? One things leads to another, and you’re off your game.
Does any of the below sound familiar?
- You skipped the gym one day. Honestly, you were just too tired. It was a long day and you needed to rest.
- One day of rest just wasn’t enough. Turned out you needed more like a week of rest.
- Then you got sick. Or wrapped up in a project. Or you agreed to babysit during your gym time. Or you had to do something for a family member.
When we consistently prioritize everything else over the gym, over time, our commitment to working out decreases. It gets easier and easier to skip going, even when we know we’re paying for a membership or personal training. You might find yourself avoiding workouts even when you’ve prepaid!
The problem is that if you view your workouts as a luxury that you can take a pass on, you’ll be taking pass after pass and before you know it, the gym will be the furthest thing from your mind.
Your body takes the hit, though, when you don’t hit the gym like you should. Here are 10 super important, telltale signs that you need to get back to your workouts ASAP.
Signs That It’s Time To Go Back To The Gym
#1 You’re stressing out easily.
When you find yourself snapping at the kids – or perhaps the dog – inexplicably, that’s your cue that it’s time to hit the gym again.
Exercise fights stress. Stress causes you to snap or feel edgy. Think of it this way: skipping the workouts over time may stress you out to the point that you actually don’t even want to workout. But if you start working out again, you may see your stress level drop. As a result, you’ll be far less likely to get mad over something small.
#2 You’re gaining weight.
People tend to notice their own weight gain quickly – even a 3 to 5 pound increase. Moreso when it’s been awhile since you’ve done some exercise. And, this is especially true if you’ve previously lost weight when exercising and then slowed your workouts down and saw your weight climb back up again.
Weight gain typically results from poor diet, not only lack of exercise. But once you understand how the mind and body work together, you’ll see how lack of exercise can eventually lead to poor diet, which eventually leads to weight gain.
#3 You feel lethargic all the time.
When you feel lethargic, go back and commit to the gym again. In the most simplistic definition, feeling lethargic simply means you don’t have much energy or feel sluggish. And it’s not just about energy to go to the gym. It could extend to household chores, work, and social activities.
But when you work out, you boost your energy level and combat sluggishness over time.
#4 You can’t be bothered to do much.
Similarly to #3, when you skip workouts for a long period of time, you could feel a bit down. You may even mimic some signs of mild depression. Going for long periods of time between workouts can change your attitude toward yourself, your commitments, and your situation. You eventually could feel like you just can’t be bothered to do anything worthwhile anymore.
Reverse this trend by getting some much needed exercise. Exercise can increase your mood quicker than you might think. If you need further proof, consider that 25 different studies confirmed that exercise combats depression.
#5 You’re getting sick easily.
Did you know that working out more often can improve your immune system? By increasing circulation and decreasing stress, your body has more energy and nutrients readily available to fight back against infectious diseases.
When you don’t hit the gym enough, you could be creating a situation ripe for colds and other viruses: a lethargic, fatigued body without enough antioxidants and white blood cells to keep you from getting sick easily.
#6 You get aches and pains more often.
Do you get out of bed in the morning and just feel run down? An immobile, sedentary body can do that to you. Immobile joints lead to injuries and aches that you might not otherwise have. You need to keep your body moving in order to slow signs of aging, and to keep yourself feeling healthy and young.
#7 You’re not flexible anymore.
Try stretching out after you’ve skipped the gym for a few months. How does it feel? Not good, usually.
Seriously, your lack of mobility in your muscles, tendons, and joints could be directly related to your sedentary lifestyle. With anatomy, when you don’t use it, you lose it. You can gain it back, though. Go back to your gym and commit to active and passive stretching again to regain mobility.
#8 You’re eating junk food.
Suffering from a lot of cravings? And not for chicken or turkey, but for Swiss Rolls and donuts? Blame it on the fact that you’re not exercising as much as you used to.
Exercising leads us to consume more quantities of food – usually healthier portions of nutritious food. Our metabolism goes up, our body loves us more, and we feel better.
When we are craving a super sugary treat, our bodies are trying to tell us something. We’re deficient somewhere, or perhaps stressed out, or not getting the nutrients we need. Regular exercise fights cravings, combats stress and amps up our metabolism, causing us to eat more and better foods.
#9 You’re tired. A lot.
Poor circulation leads to a number of issues in the body. Inflammation and fatigue are among the most noticeable ones. You probably won’t notice this happening until it’s been quite awhile since your last visit to a gym.
Working out improves circulation throughout your entire body. Firstly, getting your heart rate up helps your heart pump more blood, more quickly. Secondly, your blood delivers oxygen throughout your body, helping you feel energized and awake.
When you deprive your body of oxygen in the bloodstream, you become tired or fatigued. It’s harder to bounce back from fatigue than you might think. So the best thing to do when you notice that you’re more tired than you usually are is to pick up your workout activity again and see if it helps.
#10 It’s getting harder and harder to breathe.
No, this isn’t an homage to Maroon 5’s iconic song. It’s the truth. When you back off the cardio for long periods of time, you may lose some of your lung capacity. On the flipside, working out in the gym on a treadmill, swimming, or taking HIIT training classes increases your lungcapacity. And, as you guessed it, when you increase your lung capacity, you find it easier to breathe.
Find Your Motivation
Our bodies provide signs to tell us what’s going on internally. Lack of exercise causes problems that can otherwise be avoided by just hitting the gym again. Listen to your body and what it’s telling you. If you don’t feel healthy – mentally or physically – you probably aren’t. Exercise and good nutrition improves our health dramatically. Recommit yourself to working out again so that you feel your best every single day. Start with just one workout and then go from there. You can do it.