How often do you take a rest day?

Just curious really. I did a really long run today (for me)! and I'm going to walk tomorrow to "recover"....but I wondered if it would be more beneficial to take a rest day instead. Which got me wondering how often others rested completely, or whether everyone just mixes it up to change their activity. How many people exercise 7 days a week. Curiosity only...just wondering what others do (and I know everyone is different) 😊


  • ToffeeApple71
    ToffeeApple71 Posts: 116 Member
    @sijomial thanks for responding. Active recovery is new to me...I always just rested after a long run or hard workout, particularly if my muscles were sore. I really enjoy a slow recovery run the day after a session that I can feel in my legs or arms. I didn't know active recovery was a thing until fairly recently!
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    edited September 2021
    Your example of a walk after a hard run is a great example. Pumping some blood through those tired muscles helps enormously with recovering.
    For cycling I can achieve the same thing after a hard, hilly and long ride by going out for an easy pace, flat and moderate distance ride.

    Would say though that my method of general fatigue being the trigger for rest may not be so suitable (or harder to judge) for people new or returning to exercise. Their threshold for training stress turning into general fatigue will be lower.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,471 Member
    Depending on my work schedule, I take either 1 or 2 days a week off from the gym/lifting. I still do at least some physical activity daily - walking the dog, mowing the grass, whatever, but am giving the body a break.
  • mrmota70
    mrmota70 Posts: 523 Member
    I don’t take days off but I adjust accordingly. If I’m not feeling it I’ll take it easy on the daily workout. When I’ve injured myself I seize all out jogs elliptical or rowing. I revert to walking but will extend it to an hr walk at a brisk pace. I’ve had instances where it’s over a week before I go back to normal. Wednesday’s is my intense day of 4-6 mile faster or longer jog either out or treadmill it all depends on how I’m feeling. Sundays is my easy day. Just a quick 30 min jog. I use to not do workout on Sundays but felt I needed a little something to satisfy the workout worm.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,673 Member
    Before he died, we walked our large dog 2-3 miles every day, so I never had a complete rest day. Until we adopt another, I usually rest completely one day a week and do cross training on another. I run 5 days a week.
  • BrightEyedAgain
    BrightEyedAgain Posts: 243 Member
    edited September 2021
    Right now I'm doing three all-over strength training sessions per week (MWF) plus some running/rowing/swimming for cardio. Sometimes I do the cardio after the strength stuff. Sometimes I do it on a different day. On average, I usually have 2-3 days of rest per week. Tuesday is a firm rest day, and Saturday is a rest day that sometimes becomes an active rest day. Sunday is up for grabs. Sometimes it turns into a bike ride. Other times I move my Monday strength workout up a day. It all depends. The only definite thing for me is three good strength workouts per week. The rest I just mix in according to mood and how my body feels. It won't win me any competitions, but I do see regular progress, and having a laid back schedule keeps me enjoying myself enough to keep at it. I also have a pretty high NEAT even on rest days, so it's rare that I'm not moving in some way even during my rest days.
  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,365 Member
    No rest days for me, my normal routine is to work out every morning 7 days a week (cardio + strength). I'm not hitting the same muscle groups two days in a row, though.

    Since my other deliberate exercise is walking, it's season and weather-dependent. I'm not out there doing 3 miles in pouring rain or during the colder weather. Winter does give me its own workout in the form of snow shovelling, but I have no control over how frequently that needs to be done... if I had my choice, I'd pick NEVER lol.
  • SnifterPug
    SnifterPug Posts: 746 Member
    I exercise 7 days a week unless something prevents me. 4 days are resistance training for up to 90 mins (split between upper and lower body), 1 day is 45 mins boxing pad work, 1 day is 45 mins conditioning/form/mobility as needed and the final day is often a mix of boxing heavy bag for CV plus mobility work, but might just be mobility if I'm feeling tired. I do have planned deloads every 6 weeks but that does not involve taking time off; usually just reducing volume.
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    I do some form of exercise every day. Right now I'm following a twice-a-week strength training program, so two days I do that; the days after my two training days are active recovery days, I go for short easy walks on those days. I go for a longer walk one day on the weekends (historically Sunday, now switched to Saturday). The other two days I do a "token" Ring Fit Adventure session (15-20 minutes), just to maintain the habit of daily exercise, as I have a desk job and all my other hobbies are sedentary.
  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,224 Member
    Two rest days per week. I am the final peak weeks training for an ultra and running about 50-60 miles a week in the other 5 days. Even when I’m not running this much mileage, I still have 2 full rest days per week (but my training would include more than just running).

    My training plans are heavily focused on recovery. I don’t make fitness improvements and get burned out if I don’t allow myself the down time regularly. I have done 6 day weeks in the past (with one full rest day) and my workouts in days 4-6 weren’t as productive as they could have been. Adding another rest day has fixed that.

    I do “active recovery” as part of my plans though. Not doing active recovery after a long run ends up extending the time it takes for me to recover from a long run. The day after my long run is a very easy recovery run-usually jog-sometimes walk-sometimes bike ride. The day after that is a full rest day. The day after my mid-week long run is similar with the easy run/jog/walk/bike (but as my mid-week long run is only 10-12 miles, I don’t need quite as much recovery as after 20+).

    I think this is individual and also probably dependent on what people do, the intensity and duration of what they are doing, age, fitness level and overall life situation and stresses as well. All-in (including prep/setup/post run cooldown/stretching/yoga/etc), I’m spending 12-15 hours a week on workouts right now. That’s more than enough for me.
  • ToffeeApple71
    ToffeeApple71 Posts: 116 Member
    ...and having a laid back schedule keeps me enjoying myself enough to keep at it.

    I think this is where I'm going wrong. I have it in my head that I *must* do something, and on days when I don't feel like it, the run or gym session is crap and de-motivating. I need to give myself permission to have a day off if the mood is wrong. But then I worry that every day would become a rest day!
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,613 Member
    I only rest when injured or sick...and usually just a modified routine plus extra rest is enough, not just all day in bed.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,935 Member
    I normally take one rest day a week, no formal exercise . . . but it can be mild activity, like housework, yard work, walking, yoga, etc.

    I don't have a fabulous rationale for starting that approach, except that my first coach (rowing) set up our training plans that way. Currently, it being summer, I've been rowing 4 days a week (on water), cycling 2 other days (10-20ish miles on a hybrid, depending, so not super far), and often add some intentional walks (5 miles, typically), lifting, or what-have-you in those days, too.

    I do think I do better overall with the rest day in there, but that may be because I'm old (65) and don't find myself quite as resilient with age as I was 20 years or so ago; or it may be that both rowing and cycling are leg-intense so I need it physically (especially with torn meniscus and OA in the picture)? Or maybe it's just me. Occasionally, I've done something significant on the usual off day, and usually feel a little underperform-ish or fatigued the next week, but that could be imaginary, or just psychological burnout, who knows.

    FWIW, I do mostly alternate activities (row/bike is the basic alternation for me), and do much better that way than when I row every day (6x/week).

    My vote would be to experiment, see what *you* need.
  • I take two rest days per week.
  • I do something every day of the week. Bike, lift or just a brisk walk with the dog some days. I have found that some of those days when I’m really not feeling it end up being some of the best rides tho. If I’m not feeling it on a lift day, that’s usually when I just take a walk.
  • BrightEyedAgain
    BrightEyedAgain Posts: 243 Member
    edited September 2021
    @ToffeeApple71 I get what you're saying about worrying that every day might become a rest day. It can be hard to judge when to push through a mood and when to give in to it.

    My way of dealing with that is to stay focused on my three weight-training days MWF. Those are nonnegotiable for me. I may shift between Sunday and Monday for one workout, but that's it. If I'm in a low mood, my workout might not be great but at least I WENT and maintained the habit I'm trying to build. So, the three weight days give me some structure and some practice pushing through my moods. The cardio "extras" are where I let myself be random and free. I do it that way because the strength is more important to me, but that's just my bottom line. Yours might be different. All this to say, figure out your bottom line and commit to some sort of habit on that. Focus on maintaining that habit even when you don't feel like it. Then let the rest be play and give yourself permission to follow your moods there.

    So, if you don't want to go to the gym, go anyway, do your weight circuit (or whatever is your priority) and then, if your mood isn't better...go home and don't feel bad about it. You kept your promise to yourself, and you got a better workout than you would have sitting on the couch.

    If you keep showing up, good things will happen. But the key to showing up consistently is defining your commitment as something you can live with. Personally, I can't commit to seven days a week. Nor I can I always force myself to do the same activity. So, I don't try. In addition to the weights (which I also vary somewhat), I do everything from shoot baskets to swimming to walking in random neighborhoods just for fun. Lately I've been playing around with C25K, but I don't follow it exactly because I just do it whenever I feel like it. But I'm still getting better each time. So it all works out. At the end of the day, my goal is to feel good and be able to enjoy my life. I'm not training for anything specific, so I don't have to workout like I am.

    OK, I've now gone on way longer than I meant to, but hopefully something in there will help you figure out the balance you need. Good luck!!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,881 Member
    I do some form of exercise every day, except for the three days a month that I am so debilitated by my "Lady Troubles" (as my partner so delicately puts it) that I can't even manage a flight of stairs.
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,964 Member
    I usually walk and/or do yoga on my rest days.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    5 days on and 2 days off every wk.