Is It Bad To Work Out When You’re Tired?

work out pain

It’s one thing to be fully committed to your workout regimen while it’s another to workout at the expense of your health. Lack of enough sleep either due to a late shift, jet lag or because your body aches from the previous day’s exercise makes everything feel so difficult, including concentration.  This could lead to lack of motivation, especially if you have a workout schedule that you need to follow. Fitness and health go hand in hand and if when you feel tired, your workout session might not be productive.  Find out why you need to rest when you’re tired and sleep-deprived.

Your Risk of Injuries Increases

Sleep deprivation and tiredness slow down your reaction time. This could lead to injuries regardless of the type of workout since your concentration levels are poor. Taking a day off won’t have a significant effect on your routines. Just imagine the damage an injury could cause to your mental and physical wellbeing. On the other hand, a good rest ensures that you hit the gym energized and motivated.

Your Stress Levels Are Elevated

You must have heard that workout is the ideal remedy for stress. But, when your stress levels are way out of control, forcing yourself to workout will put your body on even more stress. Stress causes insomnia which can affect your overall performance at work, at home, and at the gym. It will be helpful if you deal with the stress that’s eating you up before resuming your workouts. You’ll be grateful and your body will respond positively.

Impairs Your Performance

The goal of any exercise is progress. If it’s weight loss, you want to see the numbers on the scale dropping. If it’s muscles, you want to look in the mirror and see the changes. When you’re tired, it becomes extremely difficult to achieve your targets. Your regular workout suddenly seems impossible, which can kill your motivation.

It Impairs Your Immunity

Exhaustion decreases white blood cells in your body. This reduces your chances of fighting infections. If you keep getting ill and it takes you longer to heal, your immunity system is downgrading. The situation worsens when you combine your poor state with workouts. To avoid overwhelming your body, take a break and get a good long sleep. There’s nothing worse than lack of sleep adding up over time. You need to give your body time to replenish and reboot.

Your Muscles Ache Long After Training Sessions

After a workout routine, experts recommend recovery time for the muscles to relax. When you still feel the effects of your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) five days after the training, one of the reasons may be lack of enough rest. Your body needs time to recover and when it’s sleep-deprived, tissue repair is impaired. Your whole system reacts slowly to changes in the body, thus your muscles ache for longer.

Medical Issues

Sometimes, exhaustion can be caused by an underlying illness such as flu, thyroid problem, or chronic fatigue syndrome. These conditions can leave you feeling tired, fatigued and deprive you of sleep. Going to the gym at this state does the opposite and can exacerbate your feelings. If you’re constantly feeling tired at the gym, it’s time to check in with your doctor.

Exercises to Do When You’re Tired

Suffice it to say, feeling tired should not entirely limit your training. You can try out light workouts that will calm you down instead of straining your body. The type of exercises to do when you’re feeling tired include:


Apart from being relaxing, yoga will boost your energy levels and improve your self-esteem. Despite it being more of a spiritual exercise, the stretching and lengthening of your muscles will calm you down and get rid of the stress. You’ll feel better after a yoga class and your mind becomes more relaxed and clear which can help you sleep better.

Light Cardio

Take your cardio a notch lower and instead of running, you can walk on the treadmill, cycle at a slower pace on the stationary bike, or go swimming. Swimming doesn’t take a strain on your muscles like other strength training exercises. You’ll be working on all muscle groups in an easy environment (water) that is relaxing. Take low-intensity swimming workouts and enjoy the injury-free surroundings.


In essence, you need a healthy body if you want to keep fit. Exhaustion is not an excuse to skip the gym, but when the stress levels combine with tiredness, you might want to take a break and deal with your issues first. Always aim at training when you don’t have any medical issues that could cause injuries to yourself and others.

All images via Pixabay


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