Why Do We Feel Down When We Skip An Exercise?


The energy and mood-boosting effect of exercise has been one of its most well-known benefits. People who regularly exercise know the euphoric feeling after a workout no matter the intensity. However, there are times that we need to skip our usual scheduled workout.

For fitness junkies like me, every skipped workout makes us feel sick or down whenever we were not able to visit the pool for a swim, hit the road running, or even the gym for some sweat-intense workout.

I know how you guys feel, I for one, feel this too. My usual workout schedule is I run every Monday and Wednesday, I swim every Tuesday and Thursday, Friday is a rest day while the weekends are either for a swim/run or both of the exercise. When I miss an exercise for a day, I feel different. It’s as if my body is looking for something to sweat for… my day is incomplete.

Why do we feel this way? There are probably a few factors that contribute to this state of mind. Here’s a few:


1. Exercise generates happy hormones

This creates the “high” and serves as the drug that exercise provides. This is the reason why we feel so good after a workout. When you don’t workout, these happy hormones are not produced, thus, the feeling of being alive and kicking has been decreased to a great degree.

2. Exercise provides a sense of accomplishment

Exercise makes us feel we are in control. A day of exercise feels that you are in control of your life for the rest of the day. It helps us clear our minds in the morning while we think of our responsibilities for the day. It aids us in our meditation in the evening while we analyze what has been done for the day.

3. When we miss a workout, it feels as if we are not committing to a certain goal consistently

It feels as if we let the day pass by without working on something that is important to us. When this happens, it feels as if we are not that disciplined enough to do things we need to do even if the schedule is hard, even if the situation is hard.

What To Do When You Feel This Way:

1. Realize that skipping a workout can be a good thing

Rest is an important part of our training. It’s a day that you can use to schedule body massage, facial, or all the vanity regimens that you also need to do for yourself. Oftentimes, we forget these things because we are so focused on beating our personal records. This might be the right time to take care of those dead toenails from a lot of running.

2. A break from your workout can also be a day to slow down

When we are training for something, a marathon, for example, we are always on the move and on our feet. It’s as if everything around us is moving with our bodies. When we skipped a workout, it may be time to slow down.

When I skipped a run, I went to the park where I usually run and just walk there and read a book. Slowing down and just walking is good for your soul too. It can give you a different kind of meditation and savor the serenity of being with yourself and your surroundings. Go for a walk and/or grab a book.

3. No workout day can also be a family day.

Your family and your close friends may be missing you already with all the time and dedication that you have committed to your fitness goals. Aside from exercise, our family and close friends can be our unpaid therapists. The deep and strong relationship that we have with them refreshes us when we sometimes feel down.

The day that you skipped a workout can be the day that you need to reconnect with them and nourish your relationship with them. Meet a friend or go out with your family.


Burn out is the enemy of almost all athletes or even those who are starting to get fit and moving. Beginners in the fitness lifestyle tend to outdo exercise in the first tranche and forgets that gradual and consistent training is the one that will make them go longer and farther into the fitness journey.

Skipping a workout is not a bad thing. Learn to pace yourself and look for other productive things that you can do while you are not working out. Exercising and getting fit is important but at the end of the day — it is only a part and parcel of our life.

Balance is still the key.


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