Every so often the phrase ‘You’ll never regret a workout’ or ‘A workout always makes you feel better’ often followed by ‘but you will regret not working out’ pops up on my social media… I know this is fully intended to be inspirational and help people to get moving, which is awesome but every time I see it I want to shout no.
I’ve regretted so many workouts. I’ve regretted doing physical activity full stop and I love exercise.
If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, if you’re trying to coerce yourself out of bed after your rest day for that morning run then the idea that you’ll only ever feel better after a workout is SO motivational. I really do get that and I’m not trying to bash it but I did want to chuck a tiny bit of reality in too.
I’ve currently got a knee in rehab from overdoing it in a spinning lesson nearly three years ago. I 100% regret that workout.
I fell over whilst ice skating (I thought it would be a fun but energetic trip out) and had to take a week off work because I had soft tissue damage and was in a leg brace. I regretted pushing my body that far in what definitely turned into a workout.
I’ve pushed too hard at the gym and been unable to move for a week. I’ve regretted those workouts.
I’ve been so stressed and tried to get it out at the gym but ended up raising my cortisol levels instead. I came back more stressed out and regretting that workout.
I’ve been skiing (which I’d really consider an exercise holiday) and tore up my legs so badly I couldn’t walk for three months. I lost my part-time job (I was 17, had no contract, they needed staff and I was replaced) and my mum had to drive me to and from college for three months. I also couldn’t exercise for those three months. I regretted that trip.
I’ve gone to the gym too full and wanted to throw up, ended up desperately needing a wee but feeling too awkward to leave a class, I’ve been to awful classes with horrible instructors and I’ve tried to play team sports and left feeling pathetic and useless.
At the moment, as I’m getting back into exercise, my body hurts constantly all over when I’ve exercised. It’s hard to deal with that pain and still feel like the workout was worth it, it’s hard not to regret doing that exercise.
Usually though, I leave feeling elated. I have more energy, I feel more confident and happier. Regular exercise makes me, me. Without it I’m not the person I want to be.
So, if you’ve ever regretted a workout, you’re not alone. If you’re ever trying to force yourself to the gym for the 5th day in a row and you’re not feeling it – don’t feel bad and if you’re really not feeling it, don’t go. Those are the days you’ll end up regretting it. If you’re always hating your workout and never feeling positive afterwards, you’re doing the wrong workout.
It’s great to be positive but it’s also good to be realistic. We’re not all superheroes and there is such a thing as over training.