Do I still have the tail end of a cold, making it wise not to go to the gym? Or do I feel a bit low because my cold has stopped me going to the gym for a couple of weeks?

Some people say they don’t always have the willpower to go to the gym. Perhaps not, but I find the problem to be more complicated:

  1. Say you find it no problem to go to the gym every day, however tired you are or however ill you may be. Sometimes you will exhaust yourself with over-exercise; sometimes you will make a cold much worse by overdoing it; I have a tendency to do both. So you have to have a sense of when to exercise, and when to rest. This is difficult, especially as the more it is true that you shouldn’t go, the less clear-headed (and therefore the more inclined to automatically follow routine) you will be.
  2. Going to the gym is not cost-free. There is a short-term price to pay, in tiredness, for the long-term benefits of being a regular gym goer (such as improved fitness, reduced stress, etc.). If you need to keep a clear head every day, then the short-term cost needs to be kept under control. So sometimes it is reasonable not to go.