Tag Archives: Fitness Routine

What to Do If You Missed a Week of Working Out

Woman bent over at the waist and touching her toes. She's stretching before a run. This post is going to be short and sweet. Not everything I write requires 1000+ words to explain.

I’ve been getting so many ideas for posts from my search term analytics lately, and this week’s topic is one of them.

As always, be sure to follow your family doctor’s advice and your own common sense when beginning or returning to an exercise routine.

What works for me might not be the best choice for everyone.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s talk about what happens when life gets in the way and you take a week off from your usual fitness routine. I know I have trouble getting all of my workouts in when I’m travelling or haven’t been getting as much sleep as usual.

The biggest problem with missing a week of workouts that I’ve noticed is that it disrupts your habits. After I’ve missed seven days of exercise, it begins to feel normal to keep my weights in their usual spot instead of jumping into another strength training session or to skip that walk I used take.

That is, it’s far more a psychological issue than it is a physical one. Your muscles, bones, and heart aren’t going to magically revert to the conditions they were in before you began working out regularly just because you missed a few sessions. But this is the point when it starts to feel easier to keep this new pattern going for weeks two, three, four, and beyond.

So the most important thing to do after skipping a week of workouts in my opinion is to get back into your regular habits.

Person walking down a road. There is a guard rail in the background, but we can't see what's behind it. I’m the sort of person who generally responds best to easing back into a fitness routine after a break. That is, I may start off with a shorter weightlifting session or slower walking pace than I’d normally do for the first few days.

Somehow my brain adapts to my former routines better if I don’t expect A+ work on the first day.

If jumping right into your normal workouts at the same intensity you’d built up to before your break is better motivation for you, great!

The important thing is to start moving again until it once again feels normal to stick to the things you were doing before taking this break.

What other advice would you give to someone who has missed a week of workouts?