Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

To skip it… or sweat it out?

Growing up playing football or more so in my younger, socialising days, the expression ‘go hard or go home’ would have been mentioned a few times.

The majority of time it was said as a bit of harmless fun… But are there times when you should push through your training or skip it out all together?

Now more than ever, it is a great time to ask this question. Thankfully, gyms have reopened and people are excited to get back to their workouts.


There may be times when you just have to push through your workout, even find the strength just to turn up but other times you may have to skip it altogether. It comes down to two the two most commonly-used words in the health and fitness industry – ‘it depends’.

Rather than leaving this article here, we are going to look at a few scenarios and consider if it’s a ‘sweat it out’, ‘skip it’ or everyone’s favourite, ‘it depends’!

Restless night’s sleep with an early workout

Gary’s advice: Skip it

For me, sleep should always take priority. Sleep deprivation isn’t just going to affect your workout and increase your risk of injury. It’s also going to play havoc on your mood, decision-making and concentration levels throughout the day. My advice would be to sleep it off and get your workout in at lunch or the evening. Then for the next week really focus on your sleeping pattern so you make your early morning session as fresh and alert as you can be.

You have a head cold


Gary’s advice: Sweat it out


If you just have a head cold and feel good, then sweat it out. Even cut back a little and keep the workout light to moderate. The key is to make sure you are well-hydrated before, during and after the workout. If you have a high temperature and feel like you lack energy then skip it.

Chest infection or cough

Gary’s advice: Skip it

This is just not Covid-19 related, but the general advice is anything from the throat down, don’t train. Training when you are sick puts more pressure on the immune system which is already working hard to help get you back to normal.

Feeling tight or muscle stiff

Gary’s advice: Sweat it out (with caution)

When you’re getting back into your gym routine, your muscle and body are going to take time to adapt but that doesn’t mean you have to sit it out. Keep showing up on the days that you had planned. By adding movement into your daily routine and workout it will help by increasing blood flow, getting rid of by-products of exercise and helping you move more freely.

Slight pain or pull

Gary’s advice: Sit it out

If you are back in the gym or training for a sport and you feel pain or real tightness in one area of your muscle then I would be very cautious, especially if you have just started back. One extra rep or sprint and you could be out for a number of weeks. Give the body the recovery it needs rather than going at your training half-hearted and holding back.

Stress levels are
through the roof

Gary’s advice: Sweat it out

Movement is one of the best stress-busters, which is why you should sweat it out. It will help take your mind off your worries, and the endorphins your body releases from exercising will help lower your stress. When I say ‘sweat it out’, that could be something as simple as a 20-min walk listening to some up lifting music or if you’re up for it a hard intense session.

Just be careful, because exercise also adds more stress to the body in the short term. My advice would be to get outside and just move after a stressful day.

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