Now the days are darker and colder outside, it’s far less appealing to head out for a jog or pop to the gym.
A cosy night inside can seem like a much more enticing option.
Whether you’re feeling sluggish, burnt out, shattered or anxious, there are a number of reasons why we want to push a workout to the side for the day.
But can working out when we aren’t feeling it have a negative effect? Or is it always better to push through and run off a bad mood?
Experts have shared some things to keep in mind when deflation strikes.
Remember those feel-good endorphins
When we feel rubbish, junk food and Netflix are usually our first port of calls.
However, it’s always a good idea to think about the bigger picture, and how we might be in a few hours if we prioritise things that might physically make us feel better.
‘Even though, instinctively, you might want to curl up on the sofa and not move, the endorphins you get from working out and moving your body can be pain reducing and pleasure inducing’ says Alana Murin, a personal trainer at Psycle.
If you can get through the initial mental block, you’ll probably feel a lot better says fitness and nutrition expert Penny Weston.
She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘There are some days when you wake up and don’t feel in the mood for a workout. However, I would say that it’s always best to push yourself to take that first step to do one.
‘Although you might not feel like it if you’re tired or if you’ve had a busy day at work, when we exercise the body releases chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – which boost our sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause anxiety.
‘So you’ll always finish a workout with that buzz, which is guaranteed to lift the mood.’
Remember you can switch up the type of exercise
Sometimes we might not be in the mood for a certain type of workout, rather than exercise in general.
If the thought of a run is putting you off, it might help to try something else instead. This could be a home workout, a pilates class or even a brisk walk.
Experts say some form of activity is better than none, after all.
‘A workout doesn’t have to be running for hours or lifting huge weights at a gym,’ adds Penny.
‘Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be what’s considered “traditional” forms of exercise. Nowadays there really are so many options available, from trampolining and boxing to Zumba and freshwater swimming – all of which help you to switch off.’
Asses the reason for your mood
Of course, there other times when a workout may not be the best option – so it’s vital to assess why you’re not feeling it.
Two-time triathlon world champion Helen Jenkins MBE says: ‘There are also days you shouldn’t workout – like if you feel you are getting sick, a cold or are run down.
‘It’s important to assess your mood. Is the reason you don’t feel like training because you feel like you’re getting ill, or have sore throat etc?
‘Keeping your immune system up is important – especially over the winter months and Covid cases.’
So don’t push yourself and risk making a sickness even worse.
Don’t push through pain
If physical exhaustion is the reason you don’t want to work out, it’s probably a good idea to have a day off.
‘If you are experiencing overall muscle soreness or pain the following day after an intense workout, do not exercise,’ says James Brady, a personal trainer at OriGym Centre of Excellence.
‘This is your body’s way of telling you to give yourself a rest so listen to it.
‘Many people disregard the importance of rest days – but they are often exactly what we need to keep away physical and mental fatigue.’
How to motivate yourself when you have depression:
‘While exercise does tend to make you feel a bit better, when you’re struggling with depression or low mood, getting the motivation to move – even when you know it will do you good – can feel like an impossible task,’ says Alice Liveing.
But there are a few ways to motivate yourself to exercise when you have depression, such as starting small, reframing exercise and finding something you enjoy.