Working out when you don't feel like it - or why it's okay to take the easy classes!

Working Out When You’re Not Feeling Up to It (or .. Taking the Easiest Class!)

Have you ever had one of those days when you just can’t push yourself too hard during your workout? We all have those days, and that’s perfectly okay.  Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, dehydration, stress, injury, recovery from illness, and other factors can all contribute to a day when a workout seems impossible.

Here at The Clip Out, a recent post in a Facebook group from a member about her experience with an “easiest” 30-minute ride got us thinking about this topic. The original poster didn’t feel up to a strenuous workout, and she chose her Bradley Rose ride for what she felt she needed that day both emotionally and physically.  And after her 30-minute ride, she ended up thoroughly enjoying the music selection and metrics.  Her experience highlights the importance of planning a workout that still gets your muscles moving, even when you don’t feel up to a high-intensity sweat session.

After all, we all know that when it comes to working out, the idea of pushing our bodies to the limit can be alluring. Whether it’s for weight loss, building strength, or just the rush of endorphins that come with a good sweat, we all have our own reasons for hitting the gym or the pavement. However, what happens when we don’t feel up to strenuous activity, either due to injury or illness or just a lack of energy?  If you find yourself in this spot, here are some things to think about.

Listen to Your Body and Practice Self-Care

  • The important thing is to find a workout that still gets your muscles moving but doesn’t leave you feeling completely drained or at risk of injury.
  • Practice self-care. This might mean taking extra time to stretch before and after exercise, or incorporating restorative practices like foam rolling or massage into your routine. It might also mean focusing on nutrition and hydration, making sure your body has the fuel and hydration it needs to function at its best. Remember, exercise should be a way to support your overall health, not just a way to burn calories or build muscle.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re run down, achy, or otherwise unwell, it’s perfectly okay to take a break from your usual fitness routine. Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to overall health and well-being. If you’re dealing with a specific injury or illness, consult with a medical professional before jumping back into exercise. They can give you personalized advice and assistance and can help you come up with a safe and effective plan for getting back on track.

Gentle Forms of Exercise That Get Your Muscles Moving

  • There are plenty of ways to stay active even when you’re not up for a high-intensity workout. Gentle forms of exercise, such as yoga, Pilates, or walking help to improve flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular health without putting undue stress on your body. Swimming or water aerobics can also be great low-impact options, particularly if you’re dealing with joint pain or injuries.
  • It’s also perfectly okay to enjoy your regular high-impact classes, but to also ignore the metrics of those classes you are taking.  Make your Bike ride a low-impact class.  Dial your run down to a jog – or even a walk.  Keep your Row classes at the easy or moderate pace levels.  Filter your classes by difficulty and take the easiest ones. Make an outdoor walk slower and more mindful.  Just keep moving!

Embrace the Opportunity to Explore New Forms of Movement 

  • Be gentle with yourself. It can be frustrating to have to scale back your workouts due to injury or illness, but remember that your body is a complex organism with its own needs and limitations. Embrace the opportunity to try new forms of movement, or to slow down and appreciate the process of restoring your body to full health. You might even find that taking a step back ultimately leads to bigger gains in the long run.

In conclusion, working out when you’re not feeling up to strenuous activity can be tough, but it’s not impossible. By listening to your body, focusing on gentle forms of exercise, practicing self-care, and being gentle with yourself, you can stay active and continue to support your overall health and well-being. So the next time you’re feeling tired, under the weather, or recovering from an injury, embrace the opportunity to explore new forms of movement, take some time for yourself, and remember that progress comes in many forms. 

Tune in to The Clip Out every Friday to hear Tom and Crystal’s take on this and other hot Pelotopics. We’re available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsiHeartTuneIn. Be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. You can also find the show online on While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Lastly, find us on our YouTube channel,, where you can watch all of our shows.

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