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Are 'Rest Days' from Exercise Necessary?

By
Ben Greenfield,

Ask Get-Fit Guy: Should You Take an "Off-Day" From Exercise?

I’ve been receiving several e-mail questions recently from listeners who want to know whether to take an "off-day" at least one day a week from working out. The answer is …

... Maybe!

A rest day is not really necessary for people who are exercising for just 30-60 minutes a day, and not doing a very high intensity interval based program like P90X, Beach Body Insanity or CrossFit.

The body just isn’t broken down enough by 30-60 minutes of easy exercise, like walking, bicycling, or resistance training on machines. As a matter of fact, the extra calories you burn from that extra day of exercise can really add up over the course of a year!

But you should give your body and nervous system a break if you are:

  • working out for a long period of time each day, such as training for an Ironman triathlon or a marathon

  • working out at a very high intensity level each day

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you lie around on the couch all day on your "off-day." A short and easy walk, swim, bike ride, or stretching session, is usually just fine.

If you have questions, be sure to ask them at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page, and be sure to forward this newsletter to anyone you think it could help!

Woman Jogging image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Ben Greenfield
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