We all have those days when we just can’t be bothered with a workout. Maybe it’s been a draining day, perhaps you watched one too many eps on Netflix last night or it could just be that the thought of getting home right after work is too tempting to pass up. Whatever the reason, we’ve been there too and the hard decision of “should I or shouldn’t I?” can be quite the dilemma.

We enlisted the expert help of resident PT, Libby Babet, on when it’s ok to skip a sesh and when we should pull up our socks, put on a power ballad and get to work.

Movement not exercise

“I remind myself it’s ‘movement’ not ‘exercise’ that matters. My goal is to move my body for at least 20-30 minutes every day, but if I’m too exhausted to hit the gym, that might just be a slow walk around the block a few times with my husband to wrap up our day,” says Babet. If getting yourself to a Pump class after a tiring day just isn’t happening, get your movement another way. Jump off the bus a few stops earlier, organise an evening walk with a friend or put your earphones in and get 20 minutes of steps before dinner.

Remember the feeling

“I try to remind myself that it’s often the days I feel like exercise the least that I need it and will appreciate it the most! I’ve had some of my best workouts on ‘I can’t be bothered’ days. Once you start, it just feels so good and is such a stress buster,” says Babet. “I do a visualisation of what I’ll be feeling like AFTER the workout, rather than during it. That almost always gets me over the line!”

Making the decision

It’s all about consistency, so if you’ve been training well and on a regular basis, but just feel like you need a day off because you’re sore or tired or busy, do it! And enjoy it!” says Babet. “However, be honest with yourself and if you’ve barely made a session in weeks, it might be time to pull up your socks and just get back on the wagon, no matter how unmotivated you’re feeling.” Babet says you need to ask yourself the question, “Have I been consistent? Do I really feel too exhausted to train or is that just an excuse?”

Missed your gym class? Libby has got the answer.

“This basic circuit won’t take long and it’s a good alternative to getting yourself to a class or the gym during a busy day!”

Choose 5 resistance exercises, for example squats, lateral step-ups, wood chops, push-up to shoulder tap and plank rows.

Do 10 repetitions of each, then 9 of each, then 8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1.

When you’re done, grab a skipping rope and do 100 skips, then 10 burpees and 10 jump lunges per leg, followed by 10 compound crunches. Now to 90 skips and 9 of each of the exercises. Now 80 and 8, etcetera until you hit 10s and 1s. Done!