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Exercise, The Ayurvedic Way!
|by Vaidya Rama Kant Mishra|
Marla prided herself on her rigorous routine, running five miles daily. When she reached her early thirties she started to feel exhausted, couldn't sleep at night, and discovered that her skin was showing signs of aging. Marla was exercising too much for her health. After consulting an Ayurvedic physician, she started an exercise program that was more in line with her Vata body type. Today she sleeps through the night and has recovered her stamina, strength, and youthful skin.
Respect Your Limits
But too much exercise can be damaging. Fatigue, lack of glow in the skin and face, Pitta and Vata aggravation, and strain on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems result from too much exercise. Modern research confirms that too much exercise can create free radicals and damage the body. Excess free radicals have been linked to over 80% of degenerative disease as well as premature aging. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, you should not use more than 50 percent of your total capacity. And that capacity depends on daily fluctuations of energy, change of the seasons, age, and body type. This is the Ayurvedic principle of balaardh - using half your capacity and conserving the other half. Exercising beyond one's capacity can create imbalance in mind and body, and do more harm than good from the Ayurvedic perspective.
How do you know if you're doing the right amount of exercise?
As long as you feel energized and blissful, you are not going beyond what your physiology can sustain. If you feel strained and exhausted, you're doing too much. You can continue to exercise until you notice one of the following two signs of overexertion:
If you're not exerting enough, you can exercise for a longer period or with more intensity. You could start with a walk, but each day you could increase the intensity of exercise (by walking faster). Or you could walk for a longer time (increasing the duration). Start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity and time. Stop when you note signs of overexertion.
Increase Your Stamina
To increase endurance, eat more sweet, juicy fruits, and more proteins such as milk, natural protein powder, paneer (a fresh cheese), soaked almonds and cashews. Make sure your bowel movements are regular, and if not, incorporate more cooked prunes, figs and raisins in your diet.
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