It can be tough to figure out when you can better skip the gym. That’s why Tori Rodriguez from Woman’s Day consulted some experts to get their take on when you should(n’t) do intense working out.
- Have a hangover? A light workout can help clear your head. However, your electrolytes are typically pretty out of balance after a night of drinking, and a sweaty workout can make it worse. It’s also important to consider how bad your hangover is: If you’re absolutely miserable, just make it a rest day. Otherwise, go for a walk or try another form of low-key cardio, just don’t forget to replenish your fluids.
- Are you under the weather? Light exercise can help ease congestion from a cold, but if you have a cough or fever, it’s best to sit it out until the illness passes.
- Did you just eat? You know that it’s not ideal to exercise while you’re completely full, but a low-intensity workout like easy cycling or walking is fine on a full stomach.
- Are you on your period? Generally, exercise can ease period-related symptoms, and a study that appeared last year in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that exercise performance wasn’t affected during any of the phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a heavy cycle can result in low iron levels, which may increase fatigue, so be sure to adjust the intensity of your session based on your energy level.
Are you stressed? A good workout will help you relax mentally. Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found yoga was associated with decreased levels of performance anxiety. However, it may take some experimenting to figure out the most effective stress buster for you personally, whether it’s calming yoga or high-intensity cardio.