Working out while we're tired, stressed, or sick .... we all do it from time to time. The reasons are various but usually pretty simple. It could be that you're afraid if you miss a workout that it'll slow your results, some of us use workouts as a stress management and feel incomplete when we don't workout, others just think a workout might make them feel better ... which can be true, but when should we take time off from our workout?
We all know that working out can be a stress reliever, however it can place more stress on your life. If you're stressed about your work, family life, and relationship and on top of that you're worried about not getting a workout in and you find yourself training without a clear head, then it might be time to take a step back. I would suggest sitting back and looking at your life and trying to address your stress at the root of the problem. You might also want to train with a partner or trainer to help you focus and vent your issues to get some feed back and advice. After all your trainer should be there for you as a professional but also as your friend. Your workout should add to your life in a positive way, never negative, it should be a time to leave your problems behind and focus one yourself and improving yourself to become the best you that you can be!
We all get tired and what ever the reason may be a lack of energy is a big problem when it comes to your workouts. It could mean you're not sleeping enough, you're not eating enough or enough of the right foods, or perhaps your stressed out (as mentioned above). First things first, take a good look at your diet, your body needs quality food to run at optimal levels. Make sure you have your caveman/primal/paleo diet on lock down. If you fill your body with crap ... it will run like crap, end of story! Second, take a look at your sleep and sleeping patterns. Make sure to cut out things that stimulate the mind before bed such as the computer, television, too much music etc. It takes quite a while for your mind to calm down after so much stimulation all day long so the earlier your cut it out, the better you will sleep. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep, around 8 hours a night should be pretty decent for most people. When the time is right, a little nap never hurt anyone either! It's like recharging your batteries, you'll feel much more alert and fresh for the rest of the day after a good nap. If you have all this on track, and you're still not feeling the best, you might want to cut back on your workouts or the intensity of your workouts for a week and see how you feel. It can be very easy to burn yourself out when you're trying to reach your fitness goals, but remember that fitness is a journey not a destination, and you'll never reach your destination if you're burnt out!
Last but not least, working out when you're sick ... just don't do it! Working out is a stress on your body, and being sick is a BIG stress on your body! When you're sick just take the time off and make sure you're resting a lot and eating very, very clean. The good news is that if you're following a caveman diet along with a great workout program you should naturally have a very strong immune system! But, if you do find yourself sick please stay home, don't go to the gym and don't go to your trainer. Not only will you be doing yourself harm, but you're putting others at risk as well. If you get other people sick, they can't workout , and if you get your trainer sick, then all his/her clients wont workout and they lose a week or more of work! So take a step back, eat well, rest like crazy, drink a ton of water, and a little sun light never hurt anyone. If you just cant sit still and need to do something I would suggest some joint mobility training or light stretching/yoga on your own.
Just remember that some times you need to take a small step back to take a couple big steps forward.