Exercising on Shabbos:[1]

Just as it is forbidden to massage one’s body in order to exercise and sweat, similarly it is forbidden to exercise in other forms in order so one sweats for healing purposes.

The reason for this is: due to a decree that one may come to grind and drink herbs which cause one to sweat.



Is forbidden to be done in order to sweat for healing purposes. [Thus it is forbidden to be done in order to lose weight and be in shape].



May one do pushups, sit-ups, weight lifting and other forms of work outs?

No[2]. Although there are Poskim[3] which allow this to be done if one has pleasure from doing so.


May one do physiotherapy?[4]

No, unless one is bedridden or weak in his entire body due to lack of doing so.


May one exercises his hands?[5]

Yes. This may be done even to relieve pain as there are no exercises done in this area in order to sweat.[6]


May one exercise his voice box through different breathing forms?[7]

Yes as there is no concept of exercising to sweat in the inner limbs. [8]


May one cause himself to sweat by covering himself with blankets?[9]



May one take a suntan on Shabbos?

The answer to this question is disputed amongst Poskim. Some rule[11] that it is forbidden even when done for mere pleasure.[12] Other Poskim[13] however rule that it is allowed when done for mere pleasure[14], and is done in private, and one has no intent to tan his skin. However according to others[15] it is even allowed if he intends to tan the skin being that he himself is not adding any dye.


[1] 328/47

[2] Tzitz Eliezer 12/45. See next note regarding opinion of Admur

[3] SSH”K 16 footnote 99. Vetzaruch Iyun from that Admur forbids giving a hard massage even for pleasure, although one has no intent to sweat.

[4] Piskeiy Teshuvos 328/34

[5] Piskeiy Teshuvos 328/34

[6] Tzitz Eliezer ibid

[7] Piskeiy Teshuvos 328/34

[8] Tzitz Eliezer ibid

[9] Piskeiy Teshuvos 328/34

[10] Yad Halevy 60

[11] Minchas Yitzchak 5/32

[12] Due to a dyeing prohibition, and a possible pain afflicting prohibition [if it is very hot], and  it being a degrading act which does not keep with the spirit of Shabbos, and it may coming to cause one to smear creams on him, and if done for healing, then due to a healing prohibition as one may come to try to heal himself with herbs. [Minchas Yitzchak ibid-Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as since people sunbathes for mere pleasure the healing is not recognizable and should be allowed.]

[13] Az Nidbaru 2/30

[14] As if done for healing it is questionable whether it contains the healing prohibition.

[15] SSH”K 18 footnote 70

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