I want to talk about something that doesn’t really mesh with the vibe of this blog. But I think it needs to be said.

It’s okay not to exercise.

I don’t mean it’s ok in terms of health- exercise is absolutely important in health. I mean ok more of casual, permission-granting sense.

And I say this under two very different circumstances.

[Note: This is not a PSA telling you not to exercise. It’s about giving yourself a break from the pressure. Chill. Relax. Enjoy life.]

It’s Ok Not to Exercise: Situation 1

It’s ok to not exercise in the traditional sense. You don’t need to go to the gym every day, or train for marathons or triathlons or fitness competitions. You don’t need to keep track of every mile you run or how many calories you burn, or how many days you do it.

You just need to move. I don’t care if it’s walking, lifting soup cans like weights in your living room, mowing your lawn, an on-demand yoga episode on TV, or chasing your kids all over the house. If you’re doing something, it counts for something.

Maybe it’s running just for the sake of running. Who says you have to run a marathon at the end of it all?

It’s OK Not to Exercise: Situation 2

It’s simply ok not to exercise. Sometimes. When you’re surrounded by fitness, be it magazines, TV, or blogs, you can lose perspective.

Sometimes, you just don’t have it in you. Mentally, physically, emotionally- for whatever reason, you just can’t bring yourself to lace up your running shoes or dust off your yoga mat.

And so what?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not what you need in that moment. Maybe thinking about how to cram in a trip to the gym during your lunch break or figuring out when to fit in a 2 hour run is just adding to your stress. Believe it or not, life gets in the way.

Perhaps you should cut yourself some slack. It’s ok.

Mental health is no less important than physical health.

There is no rule that says if you don’t exercise this week or this month that your chances at fitness are over.

[There’s also no rule that says if you haven’t exercised in a month (or 10) you can’t start again today.]

That being said, you have to know where to draw the line. Is taking a break from the gym really giving you a mental vacation? Or is that just an easy excuse not to go?

Are you “not exercising” or do you have a permanent seat on the couch with your name on it?


Maybe you don’t need a break. Maybe you just need a little breather. Maybe going to spin class a couple times a week is better suited to you this month than training for a winter marathon. Maybe you like hiking. Maybe Pilates is your thing right now. Maybe you like doing something completely different every single day.

Maybe if you take that break, it’ll be just the motivation you need to get back at it.

What do you do instead of exercising sometimes?

PS In the realm of NOT not exercising, I’m trying hot yoga again today. 🙂

PPS The blogging resources on my Favorites page are 25% off with code november25