We’ve all had them. Those gym sessions where nothing seems to go right, and everything feels so much harder than it did the other day when you were feeling fantastic. Who knows why it’s not going well? Maybe you didn’t sleep too well the night before, maybe you haven’t quite kept up on your hydration or nutrition plan, maybe you’re just tired? All these things are factors. The good news is, however, that very little of this matters because in reality there isn’t really such a thing as a ‘bad workout’. It’s a bit of a myth.
This is because, regardless of how you were feeling during your gym session, swim, group exercise class, or whatever you were doing to exercise, your body and mind will still have been benefitting from everything it usually does from your workout. Okay, so you may not have been hitting your PBs, or hitting quite the same reps as before, but there are still benefits. You’ve still achieved something and that’s a great thing.
So, don’t get downhearted. Keep going and it will come back to you!
The Benefits of a bad workout are the same as a good one
As long as you don’t push too hard and injure yourself, then the benefits of a ‘bad workout’ are almost identical to those of a ‘good workout’. You’ll still be getting stronger, fitter, you’ll be improving blood flow, helping yourself to sleep better and improving your immune system. There are, of course, all the mental health benefits of exercise, too – even if you don’t feel them at the time.
Cardiovascular Health and Fitness
Regardless of whether you’ve judged it to be a ‘good workout’ or a ‘bad workout’, you’ve still upped your heart rate, got your blood and lungs pumping and that’s a good thing. Exercise in any form will help improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, helping to make you fitter and helping to lower your chances of developing a number of conditions later in life. These include dementia, strokes, Type 2 Diabetes and all sorts of others.
As well as boosting muscle strength and general overall fitness – exercise in all its forms (whether you judge it to be a good workout or a bad workout) – is also great for boosting bone and joint strength. Not only will this improve things like flexibility and range of movement, but it will also help reduce your chances of developing conditions such as osteoporosis in later life.
We are all aware of the positive effect of exercise on your mental health. Although it may not feel like it, even what you may judge as a ‘bad workout’ can still have the same effect. Your body still produces the same endorphins and dopamine as during a ‘good workout’ so you’re getting the same benefits. In short, don’t let the fact that you perhaps haven’t hit your peak performance get you down, you’ve still done loads of things right!
Even if you’ve experienced a so-called ‘bad workout’, you’re still likely to get more and better sleep than if you had done nothing at all. Sleeping well is so important for both your physical and mental health. While you sleep your body repairs itself and restores its energy, ready for the day – which is when you need it! Therefore, the better quality your sleep, the better you’re going to be able to perform both in life and while you’re exercising!