Day of Rest

While the exercise habit leads to healthier living, strategic rests grant your body time to absorb the workouts. Learn how to punctuate your exercise routine with intervals — without sacrificing progress.

Insert a weekly break. Even if you walk 7 days a week, be sure to make one an off day. For marathoners an off day might be a 45-minute jog, but for most people it means truly taking a day off. You don’t have to be inactive, but consider a low-impact exercise like swimming or a casual after-dinner stroll. In some cases, refraining from any walking might be best — to recover from the previous workout and prepare for the next one.

Know your limits. If you’re sick or injured, it’s important to gauge your body’s signals. A mild cold might benefit from an afternoon jaunt that raises your body temperature and breathes fresh air into your lungs, but an illness that puts you at risk for passing out, throwing up, or hacking away if you get too physical requires a pause for restoration. Some injuries like ankle sprains or back strains might need some TLC for a day or so to restore you to active condition; jumping in too soon could postpone your recuperation and actually set you back more

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