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Know what Ayurveda says about (over)exercising

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 14-09-2021 Lifestyle Desk
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While there has been growing awareness regarding fitness and health, many people end up over-exercising thinking that it will only benefit them. However, experts say that doing so may lead to aches and health complications, thus making it extremely important to understand how much and when should one exercise and its effect on one's health.

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Here's a simple guide from ayurvedic practitioner Dr Dixa Bhavsar in which she touches upon various such topics. Check it out below:

A post shared by Dr Dixa Bhavsar (@drdixa_healingsouls)

A post shared by Dr Dixa Bhavsar (@drdixa_healingsouls)

What is exercise?

Activities that make the body feel tired are called vyayama (exercise), said Dr Bhavsar. According to her, physical actions, which enhance the strength of the body and increase digestive fire when performed in adequate capacity fall under this category.

Sweating, increased respiration rate, lightness in the body, and increased heart rates are the features of proper exercise, she mentioned.

Benefits

As per Dr Bhavsar, exercise helps nourish the overall body and improves luster and body musculature. "It also improves digestive power, body stability, lightness, removes laziness, brings about tolerance towards tiredness, thirst, hot or cold weather. Exercise begets health. There is no other thing as effective as exercise to cure obesity," she said.

How much should one exercise?

While exercise should be a part of one's daily routine, moderation is the key.

A post shared by Dr Dixa Bhavsar (@drdixa_healingsouls)

A post shared by Dr Dixa Bhavsar (@drdixa_healingsouls)

"Maximum exercise can be done in the cold season until one’s half strength. This is indicated by sweating on forehead, palms and thighs. If we over-indulge in exercise, beyond our body’s capacity without taking nutritious diet, it can lead to severe vata aggravation, tissue loss and poor agni," she mentioned.

Is it for everyone?

Unlike popular belief, not everyone is supposed to do heavy exercises. People who suffer from diseases of vata and pitta, children, the aged, and people with indigestion should avoid exercise.

However, it does not mean they should not move at all, said Dr Bhavsar.

For those who suffer from diseases of vata, stiffness and pain in joints are common. For them, light exercise (sukshma vyayama) and pranayamas are better as heavy exercising could cause burn out.

Children are always running and playing. So they don't need extra workout. "But these days, children are more into gadgets, so an outdoor game which involves running is a must".

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For aged (elderly people), gas related issues are common, so again, no heavy exercise. Rather walks, 20 minutes cardio, yoga and pranayamas suit them better.

Those who feel very heavy in the stomach (due to indigestion), they should opt for vajrasana, walks and pranayamas. "Once the food is digested, they can exercise," she said.

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