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Article: Exercising on Shabbos and Yom Tov


Poskim address the concept of exercising on Shabbos, and they cite a number of concerns, most of which apply equally on Yom Tov.

First, there is the concept of “Shelo yehei hiluchach b’Shabbos k’hiluchach bechol” (You should not walk on Shabbos the same way you walk during the week), which is why one may not take big steps or run on Shabbos. Exercising can sometimes be a violation of that precept.

Second, there is the concept of menuchah, resting and not exerting oneself on Shabbos, which is contrary to the purpose of exercise.

Third, there is the prohibition of being involved in uvdin dechol (weekday activities), as well as the issue of zilusa d’Shabbata, matters that appear to disgrace the Shabbos.

Fourth, according to some poskim, exercise could be considered a form of refuah (healing the body) since we are strengthening it through exercise; medical treatment is a problem on Shabbos.

Brisk walking, however, if not done by taking big steps—and without exercise clothing or sneakers—as long the person appears to be walking normally, is permissible.

It is important when one goes shpatziren (taking a walk) on Shabbos that they utilize the time in a holy manner, such as discussing Torah topics, as Shabbos is an especially holy day that should be devoted mostly to matters of kedushah (holiness)



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