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Should you exercise when tired?

Should you exercise when tired?

Had a restless nights sleep? Worked a late shift or suffering from jet lag? There’s no worse feeling than not having enough sleep. But what happens when you feel like this and you have a run or workout scheduled? Do you still do it? Do you power through or do you take an extra rest day?

There are key signs to look out for which should help you make a decision on whether to exercise or not.

If you have more than two or three nights of poor sleep in a row…whether it’s down to young children keeping you awake or you’re perhaps in a period of high stress, we all know how poor sleep can hinder your performance. If you’re sleep is poor for more than a few nights, you need to ask yourself, is the workout worth it or is it worth resting and getting back into good sleeping habits over the following few days before you pick your training back up.

Keep an eye on your performance. Depending on what exercise you are doing, you will probably be tracking your performance. With running for example, speed, heart rate, pace etc are all ways you can track your progress. Whilst one ‘bad’ session isn’t a problem, if you are noticing a pattern with progress dropping, this could be a big indicator that you are too tired and not recovering enough.

Take charge of your health…

Have you had a cough or cold for longer than normal? You keep getting the same recurring annoying niggle? Still feeling the effects of a hard gym workout even four or five days later? All of these signs show poor recovery…now is the time to up the rest and allow for recovery and repair before you return to exercise.


Training is all about asking the body to adapt to the overload we put on it. Training hard is necessary at times and feeling the fatigue from this is different to feeling tired and fatigue in other areas of your life.

The key is to listen to your body and assess your training. Is your training realistic or are you asking too much of yourself? Focus on the above key warning signs which could indicate that you’re too tired, rest up and recover, re adjust your training going forward and you’ll find that you will come back fitter, stronger and healthier.

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