Sometimes you just don’t feel like working out at the gym, but you do it anyway because you’re committed to your fitness goals. But there are times when you can’t seem to push past your resistance—and it may not be your fault! Your resistance may be rooted in a physical issue your body is trying to tell you about.
Here are five reasons you may be feeling resistant to working out:
1. You have a pulled muscle
If you’ve been working out for any period of time, you know how your body usually feels after a workout. Of course, you’re going to be sore. However, if it hurts more than usual to exercise, you might have a pulled muscle.
Play it safe and allow your pulled muscle to recover properly before going back to the gym. To aid in your recovery, you can ice it, elevate it and use compression to reduce the swelling until you’re able to return to your regularly scheduled workouts.
RELATED: Get Back in the Game After Pulling a Muscle
2. You have an injury like a stress fracture
Most aches and pains can be overcome during the course of a workout—if they’re not symptoms of a larger problem. However, if you’re experiencing persistent pain in the same spot, especially over a bone, you might have a stress fracture. And if you continue to ignore a stress fracture, you could not only prolong your healing time but the fracture could get worse.
According to sports medicine physician Laurel Rudolph, “stress fractures occur when you don’t rest enough after impact activities.” Also, sports activities that involve your feet repetitively striking the ground—like track, tennis, basketball, and gymnastics—can increase your risk of developing a stress fracture.
Check to see if persistent pain is keeping you from working out. If so, see your doctor before heading back to the gym.
RELATED: How to Work Out When You Suffer From Leg Pain or Injury
3. You could be detoxing
You don’t have to consciously choose to detox in order for your body to go through a detoxification process. In fact, the human body naturally detoxes when it stops being flooded with toxins. And because many toxins are stored in fat cells, burning fat can initiate the detox process.
While some toxins come from the environment, many can come from food. You may be surprised to learn that even some of the most common foods are toxic to the body.
The effects of detoxing can be felt in the form of headaches, migraines, shoulder tension and sore muscles. If you think you may be detoxing and your muscles are sore beyond what you consider normal post-workout, do your best to eliminate known toxins from your diet and give your body time to rest before going back to the gym.
4. Your body could be lacking vital nutrients
If you’re fatigued and can’t muster the energy required to get through a workout, consider adding more nutrient-dense options to your diet. But before you rush out to buy supplements, consider that in order for vitamins and minerals to be absorbed, they need to be bioavailable. And unfortunately, many supplements are not bioavailable.
The best source for vital nutrients is the food you eat. But the presence of nutrients in food depends entirely on the quality of the soil. Since most commercial produce is grown in depleted soil, and even some locally grown produce comes from depleted soil, it takes some work to find a good source of nutrients and some research to understand it all.
Thankfully, Dr. Joseph Mercola provides a detailed breakdown of the important role specific nutrients play in the body. He also describes how to optimize your levels of vitamins and minerals, including tips like eating sprouts rich in enzymes, which help your body extract more minerals, amino acids, and vitamins from the food you eat.
RELATED: 12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat
Listen to your body
Even if you think you’re OK, your body may think otherwise. Your body is intelligent and knows exactly what to do when there’s a problem that should be addressed. Sadly, your body’s plan for healing doesn’t necessarily include high intensity workouts. Check in with yourself to determine if your body is trying to tell you to avoid the gym for a reason. If it is, make sure to take the necessary time to rest.
Recovery is just as important as working out.