That fitness and leading an active lifestyle play an essential role in keeping us healthy is a known fact. But did you know that in addition to doing the right kind of exercises, when you do them also makes a difference? Yes, according to Ayurveda, while “most people get their body moving whenever convenient” there is indeed a right time to exercise so that it yields the maximum benefits.
That is exactly what Nidhi Pandya Bhanshali, an Ayurveda educator, pointed out in an Instagram post. “Exercise loosens the kapha in your body and gets it moving — which would otherwise bind, build, get you stuck and slow you down,” she wrote, adding “exercise is a ‘movement’ at the end of the day, so it also aggravates vata. When overdone, that vata can play a lot of mischief leading to dryness, anxiety, amenorrhea, and even insomnia.“
Does that mean you should not exercise in the evening? “Morning is when your body is ripe to get those fluids moving. Sleeping slows down the movement and leads to kapha accumulation. Exercising during these hours will wake you up, spark up your agni, and get stimulated for the day,” she added, suggesting 6-10 am — or the kapha kala — to be the ideal time to exercise.
Adding, the expert added that “early evening is when vata takes over and moves you into the evening kapha zone eventually. This is supposed to ground you so you can sleep like a baby.” Exercising during this time can aggravate vata, which can “excite you and keep you up”.
Dr Yogini Patil, BAMS and Nutritionist, LivLong said, “Ayurveda recommends the Kapha time of day, from about 6–10 am and pm, as ideal to exercise as it is infused with a sense of groundedness, stability, and strength.”
“According to a famous traditional saying, ‘summer bodies are made in winter’, cold seasons are considered the best time for a maximum workout until one’s half-strength, which is indicated by sweating on the forehead, palms and thighs. Therefore, we should refrain from over-indulging in exercise beyond our body’s capacity as it can lead to severe aggravation and tissue loss,” she said.
Adding, Ayurveda expert Medha Singh, CEO of Juvena Herbals, said, “One of the core teachings of Ayurveda suggests practising physical exercise early in the morning. Try to exercise early in the morning 20 minutes after drinking at least two glasses of water and cleansing the bowels. You should never exercise with toxins still in the body. Do not eat anything for the next 45 minutes. You can drink water to keep yourself adequately hydrated. Lightly apply Sesame Oil (Abhyangam) all over your body. This helps in warming up your body. Perform the Yoga/exercise routine as instructed by your Yogacharya/ Instructor.”
Take a look at the other rules Dr Bhanshali listed
*Make sure you never eat right before you exercise.
*Do not sip cold water when you are breathless and sweating.
*Exercise to half your capacity (Ardha Shakti Vyayam).
*Make sure you include good fats.
*One can exercise more in winters while keeping it lighter in summer season.