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Should You Take a Day Off Between Workouts?

Should You Take a Day Off Between Workouts?

Q: I have heard that it is necessary to exercise daily, but I’ve also heard that it’s good to take a day off between workouts to rest your muscles. What do you think?

A: You should aim to get 30 minutes of exercise every day of the week; however, this does not mean that you have to exercise to the point of soreness. In fact, doing so may work against you if the pain ultimately keeps you from continuing with your exercise regimen.

Daily exercise also doesn’t mean that you have to work the same muscle groups every day. One day you might focus on the upper body and the next on your lower, this effectively gives the muscle groups a “rest” between workouts.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you did overdo it on a particular muscle the day before and are having pain, focus on another area.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at


+ add your own
8:42AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012


11:12AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

A very sensible answer.

7:37PM PDT on May 10, 2011

too boring to read lol

5:25AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

Thanks for the info.

11:53AM PST on Dec 7, 2010

thanks for advice

8:32AM PST on Nov 27, 2010

Everyone should know that muscles grow during rest, not during the exercises themselves.

But most of all, if something continuously feels like a chore, I don't think it's a good idea to pursue it.
The mind has far greater a role in "fitness" than most people seem to think.

10:41AM PST on Nov 25, 2010

I always need one day rest per week, it inceases my achievement potential very much.

12:27AM PDT on Apr 12, 2010

Great advice

4:18PM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

Rest days are important

11:12AM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

Thanks! I think it depends on you and how you feel! And what you are undertaking. I do hot yoga daily- the more I do the better I feel and the healing of the old scar tissues and injuries is very clear... running - not sure this is a great idea- too much impact-
Yoga really is amazing.....

xoxoxox And it is not for just girls!!! LOL...

Great place to meet women... ha!

Don;t forget to click to donate- how good is that???

so cool to help!


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