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Lets get physical

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By Pradyumna Pointers
  • Published 6.03.08
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Rewind to the vedic lifestyle where Vyayama or exercise was an essential component of the recommended Dinacharyaa. People led an active lifestyle that included strenuous household chores which brought with it lightness, agility and endurance. So, digestive efficiency followed and obesity was kept at bay.

It is not very difficult to keep going the Vyayama way even today. Begin at home. Those who argue that regular household chores are so time consuming and strenuous that they would not need any more physical stress are forgetting that these chores neither increase heart rate nor ensure a comprehensive range of motion, rhythmic or otherwise — the vital aspects of the concept of exercise.

It’s benefits:

Preventing or delaying the onset of conditions like diabetes.

Improvement of cardiovascular health. After all, the heart is also a muscle that needs exercise.

Mentally, you will experience positive energy with no room for anxiety and depression.

Beat arthritis: This is one of the first signs of ageing and can be countered by exercise. This is where the practice of yogasanas improves range of motion and also stability. The latter reduces the chances of fall, which is beneficial for senior citizens. Those who are physically strong can build muscles and counter age-related muscle loss. The best part is that by maintaining good muscle tone, one can cheat ageing, as the skin is not given a chance to wrinkle or sag.

Once you are physically strong, half the battle is won, the other half being mental strength.

Obesity: To tackle obesity, there is no substitute for exercise. Fat is known to undo many good things in life.

Enjoying exercise: Before starting an exercise regimen, consider age, strength, physique, season and diet, because you never know how much is too much. Make a slow start and the first rule is to enjoy yourself. Start with exercises or activities you like doing. If cycling was your favourite pastime as a child, go ahead, relive those days. If you prefer stretching exercises to endurance, than at least you are assured of flexibility and improving your range of motion.

The best way to exercise is to exercise up to half of one’s capacity. And you know you’re there if your forehead and armpits start sweating and you start gasping for air. After regular exercise and sweating, gently massage the body with sesame oil before bathing. Deep relaxation after exertion becomes very tangible.

References: Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and N.I.H. library USA

Dr CM Pradyumna is director of medicine, Vedic Village. Send your questions on stress & wellbeing to t2@abpmail.com